It was my birthday yesterday! I had such a lovely day and I’ll be honest, one of the things I enjoyed most was opening my cards.
You see, recognising the handwriting on each envelope and reading the handwritten messages inside brought so many smiles to my face and so many warm memories to my mind... so many stories and a sense of connection with the wonderful people I am so lucky to have in my life.
Sometimes people ask me whether handwriting has any relevance in the 'digital age'.
Well for me it is never a question of having to choose between keyboarding and handwriting. We benefit from and can enjoy both!
I love digital communication! It's fast and has the power to connect us across the world in a way that is absolutely incredible (and which we pretty much take for granted now).
But there's also nothing quite like writing or receiving a handwritten card or letter. Because our handwriting is part of our identity.
It speaks of us.
It connects us.
Handwriting expresses our energy... whether we're in a rush... or relaxed and taking our time... our feelings and emotions... and our exeriences... it evolves with us and reflects the motion of our lives.
In this busy, busy world, it means a lot when someone makes the effort and takes the time to write. After all, what is really more valuable than our time?
One of the things I love about my birthday cards is knowing that, for those moments of writing, my friends and family were holding me in mind. And as I read them, I held each of them in mind. Picturing them... the last time we saw each other or spoke, the experiences we've shared together in the past...
Sitting in a bar on Hollywood Avenue with Ian and Jess during my first stay with them in California...
A beautiful walk at Stourhead with Martin & Lynne last year... sitting round the fire pit in their garden just a couple of weeks ago...
Marion coming to stay just before Lockdown...
Walking to school with Nia and Sue when we were children...
Sleeping off a hangover in Sue Mackett's red mini traveller as a teenager...
My auntie buying me a beautiful dress when I was about 8... it was white and covered in tiny flowers with a pleated skirt that spun out in a full circle when I twirled around and around and around (as you do when you're about 8!) ...
My auntie is 92 now. Lockdown has been hard for her and she's 300 miles away from me. She managed to write the envelope for my card although it was blank inside. I know her wonderful carer Brugena would have had a hand in buying and posting my card. I'm so grateful she can be there in person for my auntie when I can only be in cards and over the phone.
My wonderful children... a thousand and one memories flood my brain!!
Standing outside 'Orange Class' with Kath in 2001, waiting for our boys to stumble out from their morning in Reception and race to the monkey bars...
The first time Maria cut my hair and I hated it! We sorted it out :) I wouldn't go anywhere else now...
So many wonderful people, each one brought to me in an instant through their handwriting. There are more I'd love to share but I mustn't take up too much of your day. I really just want to remind you of the simple, powerful gift of connection through handwriting.
Is it something you've experienced?
Is it something you'd forgotten?
Is it something we're passing on to our children?
What are we modelling for them... in our actions and with our words?
Are we helping them develop handwriting they feel good about and enjoy using?
Haha! Plenty to think about! As ever, I'd love to hear your thoughts :)
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