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Turning words into treasure

A few weeks ago, I bought some vintage, Parisian postcards on an auction site as I thought they’d look nice in my home. I loved the look of the black and white images of Le Panthéon, La Fontaine Carpeaux and the Notre Dame reaching to the sky in all its former glory.

When they arrived, not only was I delighted by how beautiful they were, I got an extra surprise. I was under the impression the postcards were to be blank but, on the back of a number of them, were messages sent in summer 1921, almost one hundred years ago.

In a time when rapid communication didn’t exist, more thought used to go into words sent. No rushed texts or hastily sent emails. Words had intent and careful thought had to go into how the reader would receive them.

My daughter and I were almost in tears reading the words on the back of the Parisian postcards sent by a gentleman named Leonard to ‘My dear P’, expressing how much he was missing her as he gave insights into his experiences in the city.

The last postcard in the series details the train he was due to catch to meet his love in England and then there is nothing more. I hope they met on the platform as planned and their love turned into something special.

Written messages are treasures that can brighten receivers’ lives. So great can they be at boosting morale, a decision was taken not to ration them during the Second World War. It’s no surprise, then, that amidst the present lockdown, postal workers are reporting a surge in people sending messages through the mail.

Writing by hand is not only great for the receiver, it can boost the writer too. Sitting down and focusing your mind as the ink touches the paper, as words begin to flow, is a wonderful, very personal experience.

Why not write to someone you care about or someone who inspires you today? You’ll be sending that special person a gift that no one else can give but you.

‘To write is human, to receive a letter: Divine!’

– Susan Lendroth
About Loretta Milan

Founder and Commissioning Editor of Lightbox Originals. On a mission to get the world writing and finding wellbeing through words. Loves books, tea, travel and art.

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