I will blush when I tell you, but I will tell you that I’ve written love letters. And I’ve written poetry (badly) in the name of love. But each time I sat and put pen to paper I knew the person the letter would reach, I knew his personage, his smile, his attitudes, his gender. But yesterday, I broke with tradition. I sat down and still put pen to paper, but I don’t know who will get my letter. I don’t even quite know where I’ll leave it yet. Whom ever picks it up could be male or female, old or young, any nationality, religion, or state of mind.
And I was inspired, overwhelmed, and intimidated by the prospect.
But then I starting thinking about what kind of letter I might like to get myself. If I were to pick up a random envelope on the sidewalk, find something in a grocery aisle, pull a card out from under my windshield. What would I want to read? I was sitting on my porch in a beam of springtime sunlight. The azaleas are blooming fiercely in fuchsias and bold whites. I have Asian iris that almost glow electric purple. The sky was soft blue, my grass is turning green again, and the perfect quote rolled into my head.
I started my letter. “Dear You,” I wrote. “R. A. Heinlein wrote, ‘Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.’ ” It may sound random, but really it’s a beautiful thought to think of flowers moving of their own accord. But where does the love part fit in? I love this imagery, and I think that we all have a little butterfly inside of us. It’s a beautiful shining part of us, the very best part of some of us. But it’s not an acknowledged piece of any of us. So I celebrated the inner butterfly of the person who picks up my letter. I told them to always keep their beauty on the outside to share with the world.
So my first lesson in love letters is to find the common ground. It’s probably not going to be a shared romantic love, but I need to remember that there are so many other kinds of love to share and celebrate.