My favourite surprise is opening a book and finding a hand written letter inside. Part of why I love this so much is because hand written letters are such a rarity today. But truthfully the reason is because it allows me to have a peek into someone else’s life that I wouldn’t otherwise have peeked into. So much love and devotion goes into the writing of a book, but the words are meant to be shared everyone is allowed to read them. Letters are much more intimate the writer only ever expects the person it’s addressed to to read their words. And therein lies the true delight of finding a letter, no matter how mundane the subject, it was simply never meant for your eyes.
I recently got to experience this pleasure when I opened Words for the Wind expecting only to find the verse of Theodore Roethke. Tucked into the front cover lay one page of a letter that is obviously longer. The paper starting to brown and the hand writing of a calibre no longer seen, I forgot all about the book and was instantly sucked into the few brief words of a man, Howard C, to a girl, Marion, on her twenty first birthday.
And now, as Howard C would say, I take leave of you