Catching attention is that announcement over the 1MC (That is the speaker system throughout a Navy Ship)
Mail call! Overseas, it was a light moment, usually news from home. Packages of cookies and such were obvious and demanded attention from one’s division. Hopefully a large box. After doing a few tours in a war zone, it was a welcome diversion. Mail was found aft, at the Mess deck by the ship’s Gedunk.
Being on watch 24 hours with 12 hours to sleep was a bit uncomfortable. The mail call was a pleasant relief besides Folgers coffee or Mid rats on the mess deck. We all do it, walking out now to the box at the end of the driveway to see what’s there. On Tuesdays when the trash is also in it’s container there, it’s an easier job to not have to clutch the rolling trash can and the mail at the same time. You can tell what to toss in the empty can. Sometimes, it’s the whole days mail with all the ‘Special offer just for you!’
Every one on a rural route knows the drill with the flag up to signal there is outgoing mail in the box. Country folk nowadays usually skip doing that flag thing. It used to be convenient, but now there are a very small minority who have a calling to inspect boxes late at night with flags up.
There is almost a romance with the mail. It is something our government really got right to establish the Postal Service. Our language has responded with phrases and words particular to our mail. Special Delivery, Tracking, Return to Sender, Postage Due, Return address’, Zip codes and the inevitable, Junk Mail (spam for Gmail)
There was a rumor afoot that messenger and email type communication would completely eliminate mail. At first, paper mail was called ‘snail mail’ but electronic mail is easily lost and addresses are tricky too.
A few years back, Jack was told to walk a bicycle trail and then cross the highway to find a treasure. It was old mail in the ditch. Dozens of envelopes mailed in the fifties, mailed from a distant war to home to ask about the crops and the harvesting. Touching base from a soldier overseas. It was, indeed a treasure. It was accompanied by a small, broken cedar box. Thrown in the ditch by thieves that thought it was worthless booty. It was then returned, bundled with a sturdy rubber band to the man’s granddaughter who was easy to locate. Local name.
Personal mail, ah, that is the treasure at our mailboxes! It even surpasses envelopes with checks to cash. A real letter that shows a friend that cares enough to gather ink and pen and encourage us immediately when we gather it up and see the return address. We all get Email and that has no impact as a folded piece of promised love from an old friend. Jack gets those letters often when he needs them.
So, what have we always had that is faster and never has any junk mail or spam with it? We have a passel of love letters from a very dear friend which bear re-reading and we have the incredible permission to answer those letters with just..thoughts. Spoken alone or with friends or just found behind our eyes. The only requirement to receive those letters is to understand them and if needed, ask for clarification with our response. To hear and read and feel our hearts move to get closer to the writer and speaker to our very core.
By the way, there are no mail slots or boxes on tombstones. No more love letters written or read then.
It’s time now to read and understand and respond to the best correspondent that is and always will be. You know his address. Jesus. He’s waiting for you to read his letters. Pay attention, it is very important that we do so. Think seriously about a special letter from your best friend and devour it with joy. Send a response with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. He is delighted to hear from us, especially you.
It’s pretty good. Jack Gator