The summer warmth is starting to fade here in the Northeast. The days have gotten shorter and the leaves are beginning to change color. Cooler weather means finding new comfortable ways to connect with loved ones. Instead of pool parties and beach days, there are haunting tales around a campfire, carving jack-o-lanterns, and picking apples for pie. Perhaps we can channel those experiences into a letter.
Staring onto a blank sheet of paper can be intimidating. Start by writing their name and the date…
Then take a breath.
Remember there is no perfect or special way to start writing a letter and in fact it will mean more with all the mistakes you might be worried about. Talk about all the plants you have accidentally killed, how good the squirrels have gotten at puzzling out your bird feeder, or the day you realized “calendar” is spelled with an “a” instead of an “e”.
Talk about your successes. Recount the trek up Mountain Washington. Reminisce about learning to bake the perfect soufflé. Recommend something you loved reading. Share your gratitude for the person you’re writing to.
And if it feels as if nothing happened at all, start with something even smaller that still means a lot. What about how the clouds looked as the sun set last night? What about the smell of coffee or tea this morning? What about the small things that made you think to write this letter to this person in the first place?
Think about what connecting means to you and how you can uniquely express that in writing.
21 October 2022
Autumn is my favorite time of year. I cannot imagine living in a place that doesn’t have apples to be picked, leaves to jump into, and pumpkins to carve. It makes me smile just thinking about the memories of my family doing these things. I hope you have your own nostalgic equivalent of warm backyard bonfires, photographing reflections of red and yellow leaves in forest streams, and curling up with a good book and a cup of tea. I eagerly await your return letter.
Seal the envelope, perhaps with one of our address seals or decorative labels, and consider adding some homemade autumnal cookies to send with the letter - there is a special type of magic that comes with sharing baked goods with those you love. In mixing the rich and bitter flavor of dark chocolate and the tangy but sweet hum of dried cranberries into a brown sugar dough, we create a seasonal homage to friendship.
Inspired by the “Recipes for the Dead” comic book by Greentea Publishing, a story about a magical cookbook, and a similar Food Network recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood.