Expectation packaged in an envelope

Letters are expectation packaged in an envelope.

Shana Alexander (1925 โ€“ 2005)

I’ve written before about my special poetry partnership with Sangeetha and how she has brought more color into my world. Recently, I wrote a poem inspired by an envelope that I received from Sangeetha in the mail, but I didn’t write anything about its contents.

For those of you who may be curious, Sangeetha sent me a lovely desk calendar, which she published with her friend and her daughter. Every month of the calendar includes one of Sangeetha’s poems and one of her friend’s photographs; and the layout of the calendar was designed by her daughter.

Even though I knew exactly what Sangeetha was sending, I was excited to receive it. As the Israeli postal service leaves much to be desired, I had some anxiety about the safe delivery of my gift, which increased as the days drifted by. But, happily, it’s now sitting atop my desk at work.

Anyway, Shana Alexander’s quote, which I’ve shared above for Marsha Ingrao’s WQ prompt, is right on the money. Letters (or, in this case, calendars) truly are ‘expectation packaged in an envelope’.

In fact, thinking about it now, there’s something uniquely special about receiving snail mail in the modern world. This is an experience I haven’t had in a very long time. I remember receiving care packages from my parents and family friends in college and from friends when I was away at summer camp as a boy. But since then?

Nowadays, all that ever arrives by post are items that we’ve ordered online, be they clothes, books, or other purchases. Even when we buy gifts for others online, they arrive perfectly packaged and machine labeled… never addressed by human hands.

That morning, when I pulled Sangeetha’s gift out of our mailbox, knowing what it was but not what it actually looked like, I felt relieved it had arrived, eager to see it with my own eyes, and childishly excited about the worn and torn envelope I held in my hand. I enjoyed seeing Sangeetha’s handwriting for the first time, as all our interactions to that point had been only online. It was personal and touching. A special moment.

37 thoughts on “Expectation packaged in an envelope”

  1. I feel your excitement and anticipation in this post, David. What lovely emotions to feel and share with us. Snail mail has a particular warmth. I’m glad you enjoyed your anticipated gift. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again for joining and for your patience with my non-existent internet. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m late on this week’s post, too.

  2. I received a couple of cards and messages over the holidays. Reminded me of how I used to send and receive letters all the time, long ago. Those were different times, truly. I decided last year to begin sending personal mail again. Have done a few letters since then and hope to write and send a few more this year, whether we call it 5783, 2023, or 66th (of the Space Age).

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