There's something about a handwritten note, dear reader, which touches me deeply.
What is it, I wonder? It's not the actual words alone, but more in combination with seeing them written out by hand. Something about it seems like the deepest and most genuine gift.
I know in certain cultures people consider having their picture taken a violation which steals a piece of their soul. But a picture could never be that personal to me, even though I love those, too. If anything comes closer to that sentiment in my mind, it is a handwritten note...not that it steals a piece of one's soul, but rather offers it.
I cherish these gestures, these bits and scraps of paper. I keep them in boxes and drawers, I find them tucked into books, and whenever I come across one from long ago, I stop what I'm doing and take a moment to feel that feeling, like an old, forgotten magic, all over again.
The girls keep their old notes, too.
With the advent of personal computers, I lament the deterioration of my handwriting.
But I still like to write notes.
I write them to Izzy during her music lessons. And while they may not always be the most technically astute, they convey what I hope she discovers through this and every other pursuit in life.
I text them to my nieces.
Send them to friends,
And leave them for pretty much anyone who'll find them.
Yesterday I finished reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to Caroline's class at school.
The children presented me with this picture which they'd signed with little notes around the border. I was completely caught off guard, as Caroline did a great job of keeping their project a secret.
Throughout the time I've been reading, the students have written notes and made drawings for me. I have quite a fantastic collection of foxes as a result.
There's no way to explain how wonderful it was to be in that classroom. It was like being in the midst of a symphony of cicadas, only this time the hum and energy was coming from the most fantastic group of eleven year olds you could ever hope to meet. You could actually feel how good hearted, smart, funny, curious, and interesting they are...it radiated and bounced from every corner of the room.
They couldn't have fully known it, but I am so grateful for the notes and drawings they made. I hope to hear from them in the future, I hope there is some way to stay in touch, but their handwritten sentiments capture for me some tiny flicker of this amazing thing we had, this escape into the world of books, this rare, unforgettable journey we all took together which somehow and in some way, I hope, goes on forever.