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On writing

There was a heartwarming feature on NBC Nightly News Tuesday evening about the letters of former President George H. W. Bush.

As a pilot in the Pacific during World War II, he couldn’t call his loved ones, so he wrote letters. He never stopped. Letters to his wife, Barb, his children, grandchildren, friends, colleagues. They’ve been collected in a book that will serve as his autobiography.

We don’t write letters much anymore. We e-mail, text, tweet and post, and that’s not a bad thing. Communication is a key to binding families and communities together and the words we use to form those bonds are more important than the medium we use to make the connections.

And yet, there’s something missing. There’s no handwriting on an envelope you recognize immediately as his. There’s nothing to hold in your hands that she held in hers. There’s nothing to put away in a special place as a physical reminder of your connection.

Today, start thinking about what you’d like to say to someone you love and this weekend, with a real pen and real paper, write them a letter.