• Caroline

Honeysuckle Days and the Temporary Death of the Handwritten Letter

I told my children that we should use this time to write letters to people we care about. Who doesn’t love a handwritten letter? Keep it to yourself if you are the oddball who doesn’t! Then I woke up at 4am with thoughts for my mom, a nurse in New York. Thoughts I wanted to pen to her, like I did as a child in my hopeless romantic style, hoping to exude the same depth of emotion as Juliet did in the balcony season. “Deny thy father and refuse thy name!” Such passion! I memorized the whole balcony scene as a very cool adolescent with far too much time on her hands and apparently no better hobbies. How many poems and heartfelt letters have my hands produced, I am not sure. But when the heart bleeds depths of emotions that cannot be contained, they must be expressed by some vehicle or risk imploding; that would simply not be a pretty sight!

So I write. I sort my thoughts out. I express them. I tell you of the great magnitude of love that I have that even with these simple words, wells up from my chest and produces big heaping tears that want you to know your worth and never question it.

And then it hit me, we are not to share objects during this time. A pen to paper, perhaps capturing my tears and producing a ripple of love. A tongue to adhesive to seal the envelope. A breath as I lean near because cursive demands proximity.

What is a world without the written word that considers the heart of the audience, even if the audience is one?

Honeysuckle days are upon us; so far and yet so close. The cold of winter continues to revisit us, pulling us back a few steps then propelling us forward with a tease. But honeysuckle days, those days are sublime. The vines burst forth with delicate flowers holding a sweet nectar. We walk the greenways, my children and I, enchanted by the show. Birds sing, children laugh in the distance, and my own sweet children thrust a finely curated honeysuckle towards me and tell me to try this one. Then another, and another, a feast fit for a queen.

If you bite the tip of the flower that connects to the vine, you can taste the nectar that bees understandably harvest. But you should also breathe in and smell its perfume; it tells me the winter is over finally and the blanket of hibernation will lift for a time and allow life to burst forth with the zeal of a trillion different life forms aching to stretch and reconnect.

We walk and we talk, sometimes the topic is a bug, sometimes it is wisdom, or the economy, but always it is sweet; laden with precious moments with my children that someday I will ache to recover. I will wish my memory were sharper. But then honeysuckle days will come again and I will walk through the vines, even if it is by myself, and I will hear their giggles and receive a delicate flower from their dirt covered hands, and hear their even sweeter voices say, “here mommy, this one is for you.” I will smell the perfume and be transported to a time of my choosing where all that existed was innocence and love.

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