My earliest memory of writing letters dates back to the 1960’s when I was about 10 years of age. A year before this when I was in year 4, a new pupil started at my school and soon Sally and I became friends. She lived on the street opposite mine, on the other side of the railway tracks and in those days, the tracks were not fenced so we would walk through the long grass and shrubs and across the tracks to visit and play with each other. We lived in the same town for just a short time, about two years, before her family moved to the city and it was then that I discovered my joy for writing letters. My weekends and holidays would be spent writing to my friend and discussing the books I had recently read. When we lived in the same town, her mother and grandmother introduced me to the wonders of reading books and would often take me to the town library where I would while away hours, especially during the summer holidays. My friend Sally and I have never lived in the same town since we were about 11 years of age, but 50 years later, our friendship has been enriched by our letter writing and later by our regular email newsletters.
As a young adult when I moved from my parents’ home to the city, I would write home every week, pages and pages about my work, my friends, my hobbies. Not all homes had a telephone in the early 1970’s and for those that did, it was an expensive household item and the cost of a long distance call, in those days called an STD phone call (Subscriber Trunk Dialing) was somewhat expensive and considered a luxury. I had shoe boxes and folders with hundreds of letters from my Mother, my sister Mary and my friends and would often read them over and over again, especially when homesickness would strike and I needed to feel my family and friends close to me.
Over the years, I have travelled and re-located many times, and retained long-lasting friendships by writing and receiving letters and emails. I have had the opportunity to live and work in a variety of locations and cultures and sharing my day-to-day life with my family and friends helped to keep me close to them in mind and heart. My family and friends have for years wanted me to write my biography which is a dream I would like to see become reality one day. Sometimes I regret that I have not meticulously recorded my travels and kept journals of my life. I also feel sad that I have not been able to keep the hundreds and hundreds of letters and cards I have received throughout my life but my nomadic lifestyle has supported few possessions and only allowed me to keep the most treasured ones.
There is something gratifying about reading the written word particularly in the form of a newspaper, book, letter or magazine when senses of sight, touch and smell are simultaneously awakened. During my professional life, I have been fortunate to work for two newspapers, “The Daily Mercury” in Mackay and “The Christchurch Press”. I recall the noise of the printing presses, the smell and size of the enormous rolls of paper, the blackness of the ink, carefully choosing words for articles and advertisements, proofreading my work and later looking through the window to the street below where the newspaper was being sold on the street corners.
Quality stationery is essential when letter writing, especially one of significant importance, such as a birthday greeting, a sympathy message, a congratulatory message, a friendship letter, a romantic letter. Making that extra effort to find the perfect stationery, to choose the quality pen, to clearly address the envelope, to squarely place the stamp, will ensure the article will be treasured and remembered. I recall a birthday card I received from my first boyfriend when I was about 17 as he had written on the top left hand corner of the envelope – “Dear Postman, if not delivered within 7 days, try harder on the 8th”.
Fast forward to 2016 when I decided to create a blog – eastwinglifestyle.com – as I wanted to share my stories and though I know I will not be winning any literary awards, I acknowledge that my blog is who I am as a person; it is written from my heart; it is truthful. I have been surprised by what I remember as I write – things I had forgotten about are suddenly being recalled. Recently, while watching a documentary The Power of the Heart I was reminded of the importance of the heart; of calming the mind and being still and listening to the heart; of living each moment in love flowing from the heart. It reinforced the reality that the more time I spend alone in silence with my faithful laptop and my heart, the more memories I am able to recall and with such clarity, with a deeper understanding and often a greater appreciation.
Writing is fun; I truly enjoy it. It is cathartic and sometimes difficult but I am committed to being totally honest in my recollections. My blog is my story, about my life, my travels, my passions, my pondering. It defines who I am, a hospitable person who strives to love and accept everyone; a happy and contented person; a person dedicated to conservation, world peace and a person who is passionate about natural healing and medicines and chemical-free products.
Early morning is the best time of the day for me so after my daily exercise and a healthy breakfast, I sit at my tiny 60cm x 40xcm desk, open my antiquated laptop, hold my fingers over the keys and away I go. What I write will depend on my thoughts that morning and anyone who has read my posts, will realise I publish regularly and across all topics. One post will be about living in Thailand, the next post will focus on an issue that I feel concerned about and want to share my opinion but there is a central theme to my writing and it is simply based on my life, who I am, what I believe in and my hopes for the future.
I believe my life is interesting and unusual which is why I chose the logo “outside the box”. In fact, the reality is that often there are no boxes for me to tick which represent who I am or what I am doing. I follow numerous blogs with similar themes to mine and devote time to commenting on and liking posts which strike a chord with me. I committed to responding and thanking everyone who follows, comments or likes my posts as a measure of courtesy.
Sitting here this morning as I type (did you know that I am an exceptionally skilled typist), I would like to conclude by saying that when you read this post and other articles I have published, please like, comment or share with your family, friends and connections or follow me as I promise to continue publishing because my head is a bottomless pit full of thoughts rolling around just waiting to be expressed in writing.
“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart” – Maya Angelou – The Power of the Heart
Thank you for following, liking and sharing my posts.