The beginning of the journey…
They say that every great story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Right now, my Slowly journey is only just beginning. Like many other users of Slowly, I’m sure, I have always longed to make deeper connections with people. I was born in a time where writing and sending letters was seen as a thing of the past, but for me, it has always been a thing of beauty. The feeling of putting the pen to paper, and letting the words flow through the ink. Taking that journey to the letterbox to send it off, and then forgetting about it for a little bit until you unexpectedly receive a response.
Up until recently, I was actively writing letters with two dear friends that I had made. One of these friends was a lady whose name was Ivy, and she was 106. She took the time and made the effort to hand-write me letters, despite the great struggle a small task like that was for her, and those letters that I received from her were so special. Another friend of mine, I had met back in 2012 when I was 20, and he was 80. He lived in Upstate rural New York on his farm, in a house he built himself, brick by brick. He would hand-write his letters to me in the most beautiful Celtic calligraphy, and sometimes send pictures and some of his block prints and pictures of his wood carvings too. When I found out he was in hospital in October, I flew straight out from Finland that same week to visit him in New York; my first time in America. His family accepted me with open arms, despite our never having met, because through the time and effort we had made over the years through our letters, it meant that I was not a stranger.
Nurturing those friendships through taking the time to sit down amongst the hustle and bustle of life made for such special and unexpected friendships. Deep connections that I will carry for me for a lifetime. So having come across Slowly, now having a certain gap after losing some dear friends in 2019, I walk into it with no expectations, but with a smile and high hopes, ready to make some friendships that may never have been, or that perhaps always were meant to be.
These letters, like holding a dandelion up at eyes-length and blowing, the seeds taken off by the wind; perhaps they will land exactly where they were supposed to all along.