I have known Joy for almost 20 years. She is the person I’ve known the longest outside my family, and I have known her in every stage of my life from age 11 to the present. She is a light, a life force, and a bearer of…well…joy. When I was younger I was lucky; I got to see her often, sometimes every day, but now I see her three, maybe four times a year, and my luck runs in the lines of long letters and Hallmark cards and unusual gifts. That’s right, Joy and I write to each other. Think about the last time you actually wrote a letter to someone you care about. If you can’t even remember when you last communicated with pen and paper (e-mail does not count), take it from me–there is something deeply spiritual and meditative about writing a letter to a good friend. Even though Joy lives in the next town over, a mere 30 minutes away, our busy lives keep our paths running parallel, rarely perpendicular, and yet our mail correspondence connects us in unique ways. Consider this: on Saturday night I dreamed that Joy and I were sitting in my living room talking. Of what? I have no idea, but it was very peaceful, one of those dreams that sits pleasantly in the mind long after the waking. On Tuesday, October 18th I mailed a note to Joy to let her know she’d been in my thoughts. Today when I got home from work there was a flat square package in my mailbox–a CD Joy had made for me–postmarked…Tuesday, October 18th. Ironic? Yes, perhaps. Coincidence? I think not. I think there are some people whose lives are meant to be woven into ours, and I think the Universe (or God, or Fate) gently but deliberately pulls the threads between us until they form rows and rows of beautiful stitches…like the lines of a letter.

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