There is Something Magical About Snail Mail

There is something magical about snail mail.

I love to walk out to the mailbox and find a piece of a friend's heart wrapped in a paper envelope with my name lovingly written on the outside.

My friend took the time to pen the words inside. Time is one of the most valuable commodities of our current world. They sat still, away from technology, long enough to create inked letters on the paper. They didn’t simply grab a keyboard and peck out some lines; they chose a pen and the paper to write on. They found a surface that supported their writing and they formed sentences without the aid of a spell-checker or cut-and-paste capabilities. Whatever came out, came the order it did. Perfect or not.

And that makes it more real.


After the writing, they had to fold the note and find an envelope, a stamp, my address...and bring it to a post box. They didn’t simply click ‘send’; they had to actually leave the house to send it. It involved movement, commitment, and intention.

And that gives it meaning.

Opening a piece of mail with your name on the outside is a delight as well. It does not come with a ‘ding’ in the inbox or the ability to quickly scan through its contents. Snail mail requires the recipient to take the time to read through the penmanship, note the shape and quality of the handwriting, and devour it slowly. It takes deliberate reading and can be paced to match the imagined sound of the sender’s voice. A slow unfolding.

And that binds it to my heart.

They are now sitting and waiting on the other end of this exchange. Snail mail requires patience and trust that someone will also take the time, engage, move, commit, and send something across the miles. It is a tension we rarely have in our instant world when emails are answered within seconds of being received. My friend is waiting with the hope that I will play the game with them and launch my volley back and that I too will feel the anticipation of a response.

And that fills it with joy for me.

Snail mail might seem like a throwback to the past or a whimsical diversion but a letter penned between friends is a connection worth saving. So much more is happening between the words on the pages. It is quality time spent and an act of love.  

And that imprints it on my heart.


P.S. I have joined this fun organization, Letter Writers Alliance, that celebrates letter writing! Who knew there was such a thing :)