I admit it: I have a few reflexes left over from childhood. One such reflex is the automatic happiness that I feel when I reach into my mailbox and find the latest writing magazine has arrived. I recall as a child the days that magazines like Highlights or Boys’ Life would show up, and the sense of relevance that the delivery conveyed to me. I was not just anybody, I was a subscriber. Not everyone received mail, after all, and getting something delivered just to me was a special experience.
Today I celebrate the mail’s arrival for different reasons; it’s nice to get something other than a bill or junk mail, and equally, I know that my favorite writing mags will be loaded with opportunities for contests, publication, and the latest news about who is doing what in the literary realm.
Today, for instance, my latest Poets and Writers magazine arrived, and on its cover was Natasha Trethewey, our current poet laureate. Not only does her radiant countenance make a nice coffee table decoration, but the information I receive from P&W goes a long way to helping me achieve my goals as a writer. I don’t mean this to be a plug for their magazine only; I receive similar benefits from other publications, as well. However, I spend real time examining P&W, as opposed to glancing over the other mags for things I consider relevant.
Recently, I added the digital edition to my print subscription so that I can enjoy it wherever I may be. Now I have double the reasons to look forward to mail time.
Some things stick with a child forever — receiving something to read in the mail is certainly one of those, and it heartens me to know that my two boys enjoy getting reading material in the mail as much as I still do. As the media tells us that the USPS is on the verge of bankruptcy, I am saddened to consider a day when a walk to the mailbox is no longer part of life’s routines. The possibility and optimism of opening that little door every day is something I know that will miss, and I feel certain that others will, too.