My daughter is at camp for two weeks. She’s deep in the forest, surrounded by wood nymphs and tree elves, eating gruel and getting rained on.
When I packed her I clung to the camp’s list: tent, wellies, rainwear, hiking boots, cutlery, sleeping bag, sweaters…it went on and on. And then I noticed at the end it gave me an address to which I could write.
Write? A letter?
It took me aback. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter. Emails, cards, Facebook missives, sure. But a real life bonafide letter? That languid chat on paper detailing life? Where you try to make your presence felt to the one you’re writing to?
I didn’t know how to begin. What could I write that would be of interest. I haven’t done anything terribly interesting these last two weeks. I’ve cleaned the house, worked on my novel, taxied her brother here and there, fed the neighbor’s cat, checked my emails a zillion times….
I stared at the bright white paper I bought to write with and yes, was suddenly struck down with writer’s block.
I was still staring woefully when the post man slipped a small white envelope through our mail slot. It was from my daughter.
“It’s really cool here,” she wrote. “We’re surrounded by hills, trees and streams. I am at the top of the hill sitting on one of the logs in our meeting circle….”
I could feel her laughter pouring out, the wind swirling her hair, and yes, even the rain dripping down her nose. She ended it with the simple but oh, so effective “I love you and miss you.”
Well, as usual, the girl had something to teach her mom: write what you know, convey your love.
So I took up my pen and began…
photo by ben.bowen (flickr)