Slow Connections

Image Description: Handwritten letters piled on top of one another.

Do you know what’s great? Handwritten letters.

I didn’t really know I was missing this. In fact, I viewed letter writing purely as a genre from the past. But during this pandemic, I’ve received a number of them, and they give me joy. One of my very best friends sends many people handwritten cards, and they are such a gift. She’s made this a personal practice. I love it.

This has helped me think about something within the letters too. It has me thinking about the beauty of slow connections. We need these.

When I say slow connections, I’m talking about more than the amount of time between sending and receiving mail, though that’s certainly a slow connection. (And getting slower all the time? Eeek?) I’m also talking about the types of life snapshots we might capture in handwritten letters – how letter writing depicts them in a slow and unique way, then uplifts their value as we share them with others.

As I mentioned, this person is one of my very closest friends. We talk over the phone about significant things that are happening in our lives. I send her photos and videos over texts. We connect about large things and immediate things. But when she writes me a handwritten card, I have the opportunity to learn what’s going on that particular day and that particular moment through written words.

For instance, the cats just jumped across the room in a funny way, though they were cuddly a few minutes before. The tea is really good this morning. Her husband just said a funny one-liner.

Slowness takes time to capture these, prioritizing the small things as meaningful. Slowness takes time to share these with a friend.

To enjoy them. To choose them. To write them down. To put them in the mail in the anticipation of a friend seeing them too.

We need slow connections.

– Renee Roederer

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