The courtship of my parents is tightly bound and neatly recorded onto beautiful stationery. Holding the letters feels so tangible, yet simultaneously elusive where the joy and surprise of the first read remain as a secret language just between the two of them, untouched and timeless.
Perhaps this family tradition shaped my affinity towards handwritten notes where the first one I received was in 7th grade after my father dropped me off at a sleep-away camp. I remember crying as he bid farewell, clinging to his shirt and begging him to stay. A week later, he sent a letter expressing the pain he felt while leaving. Since then, as my father and I have lived apart throughout high school and college, we have maintained a line of communication that is traceable in a series of envelopes. Even though he writes about seemingly mundane things, like the Devil’s Sinkhole or the activity of squirrels in Texas, I can’t help but tear up a little. There is something delicate in the way letters are written—crafted with patience and care, etched with precision and thought. In the lulls of the day, when I have musings that are too cliché to say aloud, I whisper them onto paper and seal them away. The letters are like time capsules capable of trapping that singular moment for eternity. Their permanence is striking, and I am in complete awe of the beauty of letter writing while simultaneously pained by its declining practice. When I slip an envelope down the chute of a blue postal box, I can’t help but wonder how many dreams and hopes coalesced in that one place only to scatter across the world, dispersing like seeds in the wind.