If you are like me, one of your new-century habits over morning coffee is to scroll through photos that your friends and family post on line. This time of year it feels like an stream of terrific postcards, the images full of smiles in front of sunsets and beaches and lobsters and mountaintops.
But when is the last time you wrote an actual postcard, with a stamp? Do you even know your best friend’s address?
For many years I was in the habit of sending postcards to my grandparents when I traveled. They always marveled that I was able to visit such far-flung places, and my grandpa liked the stamps and unfamiliar postmarks.
Lo and behold, they kept every one of these cards, noting the date received and bundling them all up together. And now the bundle has returned to me.
There is something amazing about seeing your own handwriting from 10, 20, 30 years ago, even if the message is a simple “Happy Birthday from Russia!” or “Greetings from Uganda!” A card can be a tiny time machine, transporting you back to your younger self in the way that an Instagram post will not.
Dear Honeybees, wherever the summer takes you, I hope you choose to write a real postcard, and send it with a real stamp.
And if you are very lucky indeed, your recipient will keep it forever.