a letter with dried flowers
photo: sally schneider

The other day, we got a snail mail note from a friend. While snail mail is inself a rare gift these days, there was an added surprise. When we opened the envelope, a cascade of pressed flowers fell out. In addition to bringing a charming blast of ‘garden’ into the apartment, the flowers were like little symbols of care and regard; our friend had taken the time to press the flowers and thoughtfully include them in her note.

We loved it. Pressing flowers (and leaves) is easy: you pick them, dry them, press them sandwiched between clean sheets of paper in a thick heavy book. Time does the rest. (There’s a great visual how-to here.)

But really, this is about the possibilities for enclosing surprises in a note or letter, that give it a totally “other” dimension. Our friend Eleanor Mailloux used to press brightly colored autumn leaves and send them to us – a reminder of the incredible Fall in West Virginia; we could smell the loamy forest.

And once we got a feather in the mail, glued to a piece of cardboard that was addressed on the other side…all the way from Sweden, from our artist friend Holton Rower, a potent and mysterious message that we treasure to this day.

Holton Rower's feather card sent through the mail
photo: sally schneider

Related posts: chuck close’s ‘note to self’ (eight perfect rules for living)
triangle letter how-to (mail for free)
postcards as tonic, fortifier and gift
“don’t give up!” (the inspirational letters project)
messages from the future, written in the pastx

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