an ode to the united states postal service

I have recently acquired a sweater with the most beautiful emblem on it, representing all I believe in, celebrate and practice. This blue and white image is like the rainbow I secretly hope to appear in the sky after each warm rainstorm. It is the signifier of hope, patience and art of writing in this country.

It is……….the United States Postal Service mark of dedication.

Beyond writing letters (almost) each day, I find comfort when I spot a curvy, blue mailbox to slip my envelopes inside. It reminds me that I am not only being encouraged to write, but how dedicated these postal workers are, traveling all over to empty these boxes and bring them to the chosen addressee.

I have written 125 letters to one particular human for the past six months. When I mentioned recently to someone that we live nearby and often see each other, they asked: So, what do you write in your letters? What is left to say?

I mentioned that I never plan out my sentences. I write what I see. How I feel in that moment. I write about the pigeon hopping along on three feet with what looks like bed head, staring me down as I eat a pretzel. When I crumble a few bits of it and toss it onto the ground, I write about how it pecks at it, then walks away. Perhaps the pigeon expected it to have more flavor or bite. I write about the panic attack I have on the A train which follows me onto the 4 train. I write about the way in which I abruptly head above ground, toward a farmers market, breathing in the medicinal fume of local vegetables. I write about the man standing above me on a different commute and the envy I feel for his perfectly-fitting suit and how his tie looks crisper than mine. I write that I wish I could afford a tailored suit and how different fabric looks on a body, which it was measured just for.

My postal worker in Boulder, Colorado, where I lived for a few years, was named Rusty. I often greeted him, asking him about his day and thanking him for his dedication to his job.

It’s not easy delivering mail in rain, sleet, or snow. On the coldest days of the year or the hottest.

Postal workers are my heroes. They are thankless publishers, bringing handwriting and languages to worthy recipients.

Yes, they also deliver your bills and bad messages, but if you were to have a pen pal (or several), it makes the junk mail feel less lackluster.

Thank you to all those who go door-t0-door, filling up mailboxes across the world.

And find yourself a pen pal, if you haven’t already.

(I’ve always got room for one or two more!)