last spring, i ran across a movement that instantly had me captivated. i was googling stationary and fountain pens when an image of a plain white envelope with beautiful calligraphy scrawled across the front popped up. it wasn’t the image itself that caught my attention though, it was what was actually written on the envelope that roused my curiosity. it said: if you found this letter it’s for you.
after clicking through a few sites i eventually landed on the page moreloveletters.com. i was so touched by what i read. the author of the site, Hannah Brencher, explains how the love letter project began with nothing more than a girl trying to spread some love and positivity to people who needed it the same way she herself did at the time. one letter led to another until before she knew it her inbox was flooded with letter requests. she ended up writing over 400 letters within a nine month period. she just wrote encouraging words in a card or on a piece of paper, sealed it up and left it somewhere for someone to find.
i was in love with the whole concept. handwritten letters filled with words of love and positivity left in random places for other people to find, smile at, and hopefully be strengthened by. who wouldn’t love that? who wouldn’t love finding a letter like that?
that afternoon i stopped by target and bought about 20 packs of notecards from their dollar section. i couldn’t wait to get started. at first, i wasn’t sure what to write.
so i just sat down and began to write. before i knew it i had a small stack of letters ready to go. there’s no plan when i write them, the words just sort of come when the ink begins to flow–even when i don’t think they will.
i keep a moleskine notebook in my purse and whenever i read or hear a quote or something that inspires me, i jot it down in there, so sometimes i take one of those quotes and write my letter around that. other times, i’ll choose a scripture verse or something from one of the lives of my favorite saints. i never sign my name, just ‘sincerely, a fellow dreamer’ or ‘with love, someone who believes in you’. there’s no rhyme or reason to it, other than being handwritten and from the heart.
since last summer, i’ve left letters in cafe’s and shops, in between library books and on barnes & noble shelves in new york, ohio, florida, arizona, pennsylvania and north carolina and in bathrooms all along the east coast. whenever i am traveling, i always grab a pack or two of cards, some washi tape and a pretty pen. sometimes i leave them in gas stations, other times on tables of restaurants i know i’ll never visit again. some were left on airport seats and there’s even been one left on my favorite rooftop cafe in nyc. the best part is, not even the people i was with knew i was leaving them. usually, i just lingered a moment or two after everyone else, just long enough to set the envelope down somewhere and continue on my way.
to be perfectly honest i wasn’t sure if i was ever going to share this online or not, i’ve kind of enjoyed keeping it private all this time–such a fun little secret–but i recently bought Hannah’s book, If You Find This Letter, and was so inspired by it that it just doesn’t seem fair to keep it to myself anymore because by sharing it, others might be motivated to spread the love too. and that’s really the point–to spread the love as far and as wide as humanly possible. it’s heartbreaking to think that perhaps a letter you write might be the first nice thing someone has heard in awhile. or just by letting someone know they’re not alone, they might draw the strength they need to jump the next hurdle.
there’s just one thing for sure. in a time when so many people speak of love, few actually go out of their way to show it. and we’ve all heard that thing about action vs. words. with this, we’re combining both of those things. and what a lovely couple they make!
we’re getting ready to start our summer travels soon and i already have my book of letters (shown in the photo above), pens and washi tape ready to go. this love letters book is really cool because it’s like a handy dandy little notebook full of pretty paper that just tears out and folds up into an envelope. easy peasy. i got mine here.
when i did finally tell my family what i was up to, they thought it was awesome. of course, the boys wanted in on the fun and so now they’re my little people watchers. if they see someone they think would enjoy a letter they point them out to me. or if they find a spot they think would be the perfect place to hide a fun little envelope full of happy thoughts, they put one there. it’s been such a memorable experience both now and when it was just my secret.
next time you’re on instagram, facebook or twitter, go ahead and search #moreloveletters. you’ll find yourself amidst amazing words and sentiments written by some pretty amazing people. some are posted by those who wrote them and others by those who found them. it’s a beautiful thing.
there are so many uncertainties in life but one thing is for sure. the world really does need more love letters.