Writing 101, day 5 – Be Brief

Running in the park it’s beginning to rain. I run faster to beat the storm. I see the envelope on the path and step on it before I can stop. No matter. I continue. A few more steps and I turn around, not understanding why. Something tells me to stop and pick up this letter. Maybe it’s just my abhorrence to littering. I bend down and retrieve the envelope with my muddy foot print on it. I stick it in my pocket until I can reach the trash bin where I will deposit it.

Several weeks later I grab my hoodie from the closet and pull it on. Something in the pocket, I pull it out. The letter I had forgotten, I carry it to the trash. I notice that the letter has no post mark and is unopened. Uncaring I drop it into the trash can and turn away. Wait. My inner self, conscience, tells me to pick it up. Obviously someone wanted it mailed and must have dropped it. I’ll drop it in the mail box on the way to work.

Leaving the house I pick up the envelope and realize that part of the address is obscured by my muddy print. I take it into the kitchen and wipe it with a damp paper towel. I can barely make out the entire address and I have made a bigger mess. I quickly grab a larger envelope and stationary and write a quick note of explanation to the recipient of the letter. I drop my note and the letter into the new envelope and add a stamp. I feel a sense of relief about this. Not sure why this is affecting me so. I will be happy to be rid of it.

A few months later, amongst the just mail and bills, there is a beautiful envelope in the mail addressed to me. What’s this? People don’t write letters on personal stationary anymore. I carefully open the vanilla envelope and read the hand written letter addressed to me. My breath catches in my chest as tears flow down my cheeks.

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