I love my computer, but a hand written letter is the most cherished thing to me. I do not ever receive any but remember the times that I did, and the feeling I had when holding them. There was a time a few short years ago that I was living ~by choice ~ secluded on top of a mountain, 2 hours from "home". ( hence Mountain Gypsy ) Every person I met was a stranger, I loved the opportunity it presented. I attempted a start over, new life at 50. I was 7 miles from the nearest paved road, the wildlife was abundant and some quite dangerous. But the discoveries were endless and daily. At that time I had a friend named Tiffany whom I wrote to weekly. Letters written by hand. In my letters I told her of my peaceful life on the mountain, the discoveries and the joys of living such a rural life. The sounds of the Amish carts replacing the sirens of the city. Once I sent her a clipping from the local newspaper ad wanting people to report their sightings of the Black Panthers that had been spotted nearby. That freaked her out as she is a city girl through and through.
The painful decision to leave my treasured mountain and return to the city came by neccesity. I never once received a letter back from her, but upon my return to make another attempt to start over she called me. She told me how much those letters meant to her, how her heart raced when she found them in her mailbox. She told me she had saved them all and would re-read them many times. To hold my letters in her hands knowing that each word was intended for her, a sharing of my life experiences in a place I had dreamed of living one day. Though I didn't get to stay on my mountain, it made a huge impact within me and I will never be the same because of it. Tiffany was the only person at that time who really understood the depths of my dilema prior to moving there and the depths of the pain of having to leave. So it worked out right that she ~ and only she ~ be the recipient of those letters.
We don't talk much anymore, Tiff and I. She has two small children in school, a loving and hard working husband and a very large family. It got to be quite annoying to try to talk to her on the phone as she inevitably would have conversations with her children at the same time, or she was dashing off somewhere ~ late, as is her MO ~ and "will call you later" never happened. But we had those times and she got the letters. One might think that it was one sided but I know at that time I was in her heart as a friend and my having just ONE person to share a lifelong dream with was more of a gift to me than I could ever say. I was all alone but not lonely. Not scared. Not sad. I was filled with a peace I hope to regain someday, maybe in other ways. Maybe, just maybe I will make it back to my mountain to live a quiet and nature filled life. If I don't, I will always know that I did and that one person was with me on that journey though she was 100 miles away.