There’s a kind of magic in love letters.
It’s a magic that you don’t find in a text message, or an email. It’s a magic you couldn’t create, couldn’t replicate in those mediums no matter how hard you tried.
And this magic, it’s in both the writing of them and in the receiving of them. It’s why I love them. It’s why it’s so important to me to buy a card, pen a message and send it off in the mail. It’s why I’ve been waiting all day to open the one that arrived for me from Holland today.
Maybe part of this magic, is that it makes it real. Maybe it’s that in holding something physical in your hand, something they touched and sealed, it makes the person feel real. Maybe it’s that the physicality of a love letter makes your loved one feel concrete in a way that no text message, or email or phone ever call really can.
But then, maybe the true magic is in the feeling of it, the feeling of writing a letter and sending it, and how it’s so different from anything else in the 21st century that you send.
See, when you write a letter, you can’t recall it, you can’t own it, and you can’t keep it. You simply put all this feeling, all this love into it and you send it away. You can’t go back and re-read it. It isn’t there to overanalyze and overthink. It’s given, completely and utterly to the person who receives its. You give your love, all your thoughts, your words, and all you keep is the echo of these things.
Once it’s sent all you have is the feeling of it. You don’t have the actual things you said.
But they do.
They have those words, those feelings, those thoughts. They have it, right there in that letter. That letter that travelled a long way, all the way really, to bring those things to them.
There’s something romantic in that. Something magical, something that keeps the love letter from being old fashioned. Something that makes it necessary even though we have Skype, and Facebook, and WhatsApp. Something that gives it a place in today’s long distance relationship. Something that makes me grateful for mail people, and mailboxes, and for a way of communicating that’s survived into 2017.