I read this poem from Poem-A-Day. I get poems emailed to me and sometimes they speak to me in ways I didn’t expect. While this is a good poem, it was the author’s comments that struck me – Everything seems small when one looks back at the past. Is an entire life no larger than a postcard or stamp?
These days, people don’t send mail or notes like they used to. I have a box full of notes my friends passed me in school. My son gets texts or facebook messages. I have birthday cards and letters from a time when computers didn’t talk to each other. Phones were used for conversations and half the time we were tethered to a wall. I have memories of a certain spot in the kitchen that was best for those long conversations. My son won’t have those memories. He barely talks on the phone. He has long chats online.
I have scrapbooks with pictures of my friends and my life – up to a point. That point we got a digital camera and there just didn’t seem to be any reason to print the pictures out. So we have disks which become obsolete when we aren’t looking. Whole lives lost with technology.
I made a promise to myself a couple of years ago – to mail something to people I want to stay connected with. To me, it’s a tangible reminder that someone out there in the universe is thinking of you.
I will admit, I don’t really get cards or notes in return. This last year we didn’t even bother hanging the Christmas card ribbon, the few we received fit on our shelf.
What struck me most about the poem is that there will come a time when all we have left is disks and cyberspace. When we leave this world, what will we leave behind? What will give comfort to those we left behind? While having a saved message from them is nice, it doesn’t replace something personal we can hold in our hands. I have had people die in my life, and among my prized possessions are those simple notes they left behind. That is the gift I give with every card I send. I give them the tangible when everything else has faded away.