Since Julie started her blog, The Letter Writing Revolution has focused on reigniting the tradition of letter writing to help us reconnect with people on a deeper, personal scale than that provided by e-mails and instant messaging. I have been amazed at all the fabulous ideas and tips on letter writing and touched at the impact the revolution has had on all of us followers of the blog. I think Julie’s blog reveals that we are craving deeper, more meaningful connections with our fellow beings, and that we want to return to a more enjoyable, slow-paced life where “snail” mail becomes a source of joy, as we make our way to the mailbox and discover a hand-written letter from a friend.
Today, I want to talk with you about letters that bring magic and foster the imagination and my practice with this kind of letter writing started a year ago when my daughter was seven and fascinated by the world of Fairies. Jaime discovered the world of Fairies through one of her friends and she fell instantly in love with these magical beings. What really got her hooked though was the fact that grown-ups, my friends and I, also declared our love and belief in fairies. One particular friend even had Fairy doors in her house, courtesy of a relative of hers who happens to be a Fairy door maker. Fairy doors are the gateway between the world of Fairies and our world. When the fairies visit, they often leave fairy dust lying around, but most importantly, they leave letters and messages to those who wish to communicate with them. When Jaime heard of Fairy doors, her eyes got really, really big and she proceeded to write a little message to Barry, the Fairy door maker, to please bring a Fairy door to her house. She left her note in front of my friend’s Fairy door, and lo and behold, a few weeks later, she woke up and discovered that the Fairies had brought her a beautiful Fairy door. Along with the arrival of the Fairy door came the first Fairy mail. Jaime held that letter with glee and amazement, and her smile got bigger as she read along. You see, she now had a friend in Fairy world: her name is Fleur, and ever since that first letter, Jaime and Fleur have exchanged a number of letters, including the odd present left for Fleur, or to Jaime.
The joy Jaime feels when she gets a letter is intense and she keeps her letters in a very special place, although she sometimes brings them to school, to share with her friends. Each letter from Fleur is written in tiny font, folded carefully and sealed with candle wax and a letter “F” monogram pressed onto the wax. Fleur tells Jaime about all her adventures and some special things about Fairy World.
As I have been impersonating Fleur in each letter, I wonder if I’m doing the right thing or not. Am I leading her on a lie and will she be mad at me when she discovers who the author of the letters really is? My intention in writing these letters are not to deceive Jaime, but rather to cultivate her imagination, and also to start instilling in her the notion of belief and faith. When my oldest son declared to his sister that he didn’t believe in fairies and that they weren’t real, we had a long conversation about what it means to believe in something when there is no tangible proof of that thing existing, or having ever existed, and most importantly, we talked about respect and tolerance for others’ beliefs. I explained to the children that it’s ok not to believe in the same things, but that you can never attack, defame, or disrespect anyone for their beliefs. Austin has since been more tolerant, or at least he never teases his sister on her faith in the Fairies’ existence. So not only do the Fairy letters foster imagination and bring magic to Jaime’s life, but they also help us talk about important topics and life lessons which are very human and very real.
What amazes me about the power of these letters is how much love and joy they bring to my daughter. Her pen-pal might not be a person, like you and me, and Jaime knows that she will never be able to see her face-to-face (although Fleur did send her a picture of herself once), but in Jaime’s eyes, Fleur is a true friend: one who cares to write, share her experiences and is a very real part of her life.
How long will Fleur continue to send letters through Fairy mail by way of Fairy doors? I really don’t know. But I can guarantee that the letters will come for as long as Jaime needs magic in her world. And by the way, I heard through the grapevines (literally) that a little fairy boy called Milo, is about to send his first letter to my youngest son Logan, via his own Fairy door, and that he will share with him stories of acorns and leaves, just in time for Logan and I to go on a nature walk. Sometimes the Fairy World and human world really do collide. Happy writing!
Thank you, Emmanuelle!!! This was soooooo interesting!