As you stoop to lift it off the mat you feel the thickness of the crisp, fresh envelop in your hand. The neatly handwritten name and address means it is a personal letter, you pause for a moment before opening it attempting to recognise the handwriting or guess who it might be from. Yet the mystery remains as you carefully open it. Taking care not to rip the envelope and unfolding the letter within.
As your fingertips caress the rich warmth of the paper, taking care not to smudge the ink in letter. As you take the letter somewhere private to read and digest you lean back into a chair, sofa or bed. You allow each word, sentence and paragraph to draw you in deeper and deeper. Causing you to feel things, imagine things, dream and remember. The knowledge that each letter, each word has been scribed with love and affection. All of it just for you.
After you have finished reading it you can fold it up and store it somewhere safe and sound, knowing that whenever you want to recover those feelings you can get it out and reread it. Always knowing that this person took the time to create something just for you.
Like many people I love photos and the convenience that Facebook offers in that regard. But equally I have always loved words and the way livejournal offers a way into the life, soul and mind of other people that a few pictures or a 140 characters can never hope to.
I am a British, a father and husband whose friends list has slowed down somewhat of late.