Lesson 3: Letters

Writing a letter to someone you love may just be one of the best things you ever do. I don’t mean a soppy love letter to your one true love (although I am a big fan of those!), I mean a letter to anyone you love: Mum, Dad, sibling, friend, Granny, anyone. A letter in which you describe what you’ve been doing lately and you ask the other person about their life – simple. Granted this would work best with someone with whom you do not talk everyday, and who lives a considerable distance from you. Writing to your best friend who you talk to constantly and already knows what you ate for breakfast today can be a little boring.
The reason this will be one of the best things you ever do, as you will soon discover, is that nothing feels better than receiving a letter.
Having spent the summer at a camp in Vermont with zero phone service and only 1 hour of fairly unreliable wifi access per day, I discovered the lost art of letter writing. This began out of necessity and ended out of love. Life in a freezing cold cabin in the middle of nowhere can be lonely, and I will never forget the day I got my first letter from England. When I checked my pigeon hole and there was actually something in it! And it was for me! Someone I love had taken the time to sit down and write me letter, my 13 year old sister. Now it’s been a while since I was 13, but from what I gather it’s not exactly the coolest thing ever to write someone a letter – 13 year olds normally communicate solely through selfies. However she was genuinely interested in what I was doing, and as I said I was feeling a little lonely when I first got to camp. Actually I found it really tough at first, it’s not that I was homesick (I’m used to being away from home). It’s just that 95% of the staff already knew each other – I was a definite outsider trying to infiltrate the group and failing. It didn’t take me long to realise that I did not want to be in any of the cliques anyway – but that’s another story! My sister thought that what I was doing was amazing and she wanted to know every detail, and that made me feel better. She’ll never know how much that letter meant to me. I continued to write letters throughout the summer to lots of people I love, and every time I received one I felt like the luckiest person in the world. To know that a person has set out time to write and post you a letter is a pretty special feeling. To receive something you can physically hold from home when you are so far away makes you feel loved. You have the power to make someone’s day, and in doing so you might just make your own.

Lesson learnt:

Writing letters has its place in the present, and they’re not just for talking to your Granny!

More posts to come on the incredible and surprising lessons I learnt whilst living and working at a summer camp in Vermont USA.

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