After my family moved from Baltimore to Pittsburgh, five hours of turnpike and interstate separated me from my closest friends and my mother’s family. Naturally shy, I floundered for a few years, feeling cut off from my “kindred spirits,” as I called them, using Anne Shirley’s term. I began to obsess over the mailbox. Our mailman, in his small truck with the sliding door left open as he zipped from house to house, had a consistent schedule. I knew the window of time in which I would see his truck crest the hill to the left of our house, and if I was outside or at the window when it did, I would stand by the mailbox and wait, taking the mail from his hands. How quickly my mood could soar or plunge simply by the presence or absence of a letter from a friend or family member. Those letters sustained me, tethered me to people that I knew loved me, especially in a new, strange home.
Many years later, I still love mail. Although my mailbox (and my inbox) are often cluttered with junk mail and bills, mail from a friend brightens my day, reminding me that I’m not alone.
It’s out of the pleasure of receiving mail that I’m sending out a monthly e-letter, Letters for the Road. In it, I’ll offer reflections and refreshment for pilgrims — those of us who, even while longing for the destination, know that the road along the way is worth our attention and consideration.
You can read the first one here…