Sometimes a simple unexpected gesture uncovers a happy memory. On one Friday afternoon, I made the short walk to our mailbox. As I removed the contents, I caught a glimpse of bills, magazines, and an image of the Eiffel Tower. My fingers grabbed the picture and I looked at it as if it was a mistake.
In my hands, I stared at this Parisian postcard. I turned it around and my eyes gazed toward the bottom. It was a postcard sent by my dear friend Renee. She took the time to write a handwritten message about her travels and a little note on how she was savoring moments with her family. It felt nice to follow the circles, lines, and flow of cursive handwriting. I really couldn’t recall the last time I received a postcard from anyone.
Her message about savoring moments brought me back to a time almost 10 years ago when I visited France with my husband. We walked the streets of Nice and Paris, following the cobblestoned pathways into French bakeries. We ate croissants, Napoleons, and fruit tarts. We stood near the Eiffel Tower and kissed, while a fellow tourist snapped our picture with the famous landmark in the background. There were street artists painting portraits, while people glanced over their shoulders. In Montmarte, we took in the views of the entire city on top of a hill. It’s an image tattooed in my mind, the panoramic sight of Paris and all of its intersections.
A single postcard on a hot Phoenix afternoon brought me back. To the beginnings of my marriage, the streets of Paris, the scent of baked goods, and the bustle of artists creating black and white charcoal drawings of landscapes and people. This is the power of simplicity, of words, and a thoughtful gesture. Thank you Renee.
What lovely memories this postcard brought you!
Yes. I loved that a little piece of paper could unleash such wonderful memories.
I love getting mail! I miss it, you know? There’s nothing quite like a postcard or letter–like a little gift.
I agree. Mail is something I’ve always loved. There’s talk of more postal offices closing and that fact makes me sad.
This is so beautiful. What an inspiration to do the same for someone else!
I think it is a great gesture that everyone can pay forward.
The scent of Parisian baked goods? One of the Best. Smells. Ever. I’m glad you found a treasure in your mailbox, amid all the junk with cellophane windows that we all seem to get deluged with these days. Send me your address and I’ll drop a Romanian postcard in the mail to you. =>
Lovely post, Rudri. I love receiving mail on the rare occasion that it happens. I have to say that I also enjoy getting emails-instant gratification 🙂
I love the symbolism in a postcard — it’s like a hug from far away. Lovely post.
I like your analogy. It is exactly like a hug.
I can’t remember the last time I got a postcard. How fun and wonderful memories!
Your post transported me to my own memories of Paris, such rich matrices of sights, tastes, sounds, aromas, magic and romance, so thanks for the rippling effects of a post-card sent with love. Meanwhile, if you get a chance to see Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” is suspect you will love it—it too is a wonderful postcard from the most romanticized times and corners of Paris.
And I think of a French yoga teacher I had. Namaste
Several people have recommended that movie to me. I will definitely queue it up once it hits Netflix.
This is delicious.
Oddly, I heard from friends in Paris recently, by mail. Nothing quite like real penmanship, real paper, and the thought that goes into it.