Dear Mr. Postman,
Can I tell you that when I see your merry little van driving about, or when (all too rarely) it stops in front of my house and from my window I see you walk to my front door and ring the bell or when if I’m not home you leave a package or a note saying to pick up a package at the nearest post office—can I just say that it’s a happy occasion. Always.
And while we’re at it I think you should know that I’m always slightly amazed that for a pittance my own packages are taken to wherever in the country I say. That for about fifty cents someone will deliver a letter to a friend in B.C. and for under a dollar I can enclose shells or pebbles or sand and send it to my niece for her fairy beach. Who else but you would do that??
I’d like you to know that in this ever more frenzied world I find the tempo of post office mail almost soothing and that I’m grateful to see you arrive in all weathers, cutting through the small space between the tall grasses and the quince bush with a fistful of envelopes. I don’t (usually) mind if the mail is late or takes a week to get to me from Mississauga. It’s actually refreshing (occasionally) to wait for things, to not feel the need to demand or expect and then be disappointed or angry when responses don’t come at once. It’s like postal zen.
Because, as much as I admit to googling, I’m really quite tired of instant everything. I like postcards and handmade cards and red wine stains on crumpled stationery. I like the smell of writing paper and sometimes of the writer. And I like how I can prop the card up on the kitchen table and look at it a hundred times a day. How I can hold the letter and feel close to the person who wrote it because I know that not long ago they held it too.
Oh, sure, sure, I like email and all the other ways of communicating (no, wait, that’s a lie; I don’t like all the other ways…) and they each have their own advantages of course, but none—none—delivers sand or Halloween candy or feather boas or lipstick kisses, but you.
(For the record, I do not like the lady at the new post office outlet in the Shoppers Drug Mart. She’s snarly and un-postal and I don’t think she truly ‘gets’ the industry she’s in. Plus she charges packet prices for envelopes that sail through that magic measuring slot thing. I know, it’s her tiny bit of power. Still.)
Anyway, Mr. Postman, I won’t rattle on. I really just wanted to say this: cheers.