Most importantly, it presents to me the effort each and every one of them carry with them and the anticipation, love and affection that was communicated from the sender to the receiver and back. I had a stash of stationery and stamps that were replenished at regular intervals. I spent a small fortune on cards - cards that conveyed sorrys, thank yous, love yous and thinking about yous. Each important occasion was marked in my agenda. I didn't miss any one's birthdays or important holidays and New years. The cards were mushy, the messages long and the time effort and cost involved were cumbersome (for a child/teenager's pocket) and that is probably the best investment I'd made in myself and my people. Today, snail mail stands as a testimonial of love, patience and caring. For the New Year, I made a few quick calls to my immediate family and chilled. Then it came to me like a flood - the great event of buying New Year cards to every one in the family and friends list. The pain to look for apt descriptions that would reflect my feelings for the receiver and the corresponding verses that I'd write to make them more personal. Then I logged into my numerous email accounts and wanted to send a group email to all my friends. Shamefully enough, some of them were long out of touch and I thought I'd be uncomfortable to pop out a random, generic New year wish. So, I looked through the list and sent messages to friends that mean a lot to me. I wrote clumsy little messages - but I made an attempt to detechnicalize myself and make an effort to tell them that they were in my thoughts - and that I think beyond me myself and my blood.
My friend Avi calls me on my b'day every year. It doesn't matter if he's in Timbuktu, or laid off or broke - he calls me. He speaks a couple of sentences but the impact lasts till my next b'day. Relationships are a great thing. Love is what bounds them. Effort is what keeps them alive. I hope we can all take a moment in our lives and ask after our old friends, send them little messages for major occasions and keep the thread of love strong. It need not be laborious snail mails and mushy messages - as I've said the Internet reduced the planet to a cozy neighborhood and if you are out of contact with people in your contact list - something is seriously wrong with that picture.