Letters. Sending letters and receiving them is a beautiful ritual people have participated in for thousands of years. Don’t you just feel happy when you get that letter from a loved one or friend? It may happen to be the words you just needed to read and hear at that moment. Maybe you save that letter for years.. and you know that person is truly sending you love, because well, they took the time to write you that letter. It may have even included a photo, a sticker, a flower or some tea. Maybe they sprayed a little of their perfume or musky cologne on it to remind you of what they smelled like and it brings special joy to your sweet sweet heart.
A nomadic young lady from Australia named Lily Barlow decided to initiate a way for people to send and receive letters in a personal and historical way. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Lightfoot Sustainable Post!
Lightfoot Sustainable Post is a collection of postboxes set all over the world where people can drop off their addressed letters and travelers transport the letters to the person, in person!
Lightfoot Sustainable Post has three main purposes as envisioned by Lily and friends:
1. Encourage everyone to write more letters: by making it fun and an adventure.
2. Have written correspondence delivered without using fuel, and in particular airplanes: by having letters delivered by people who were going anyway. Even if they are taking an airplane to get there, it’s sort of like the letter is “hitchhiking.”
3. Connecting communities: breaking down barriers between strangers by using letters and post to build trust. Trust is the essence of Lightfoot.
A personal experience: I met Lily through Couchsurfing.org and she stayed at my place. After learning of Lightfoot Sustainable Post, I felt inspired to write a letter immediately. Lily had a small plastic bag filled with various stationary, some scissors and the like to put some creative love into your letter or small package. I wrote a simple letter with some drawings, put some little trinkets in it, addressed it to my friend Brian and passed it to Lily. She received it with a smile and tucked it away in a safe place in her backpack. A week later, a surprised Brian and family received it in their small coastal Oregon town. He let me know that made his week and to this day, we still smile about how cool an experience it was for all of us to participate in.
What would Lily like to see happen with Sustainable Post?
“I would love to see Lightfoot Boxes scattered all around the world – so that we might all be inspired to write letters to our friends up the road or across the globe. That people regularly check the boxes and regularly deliver letters. That we might all be Lightfoot Deputies, and that a community in Brisbane might be in regular communication with a community in Germany, or San Francisco. All delivered with stories and adventures along the way. That a Letter go beyond even what it is now – that it become a series of stories, a living art-form, a magic-carpet that carries travelers to your door. That we all slow down, write, deliver and connect more!”
What is a Lightfoot Deputy? The name for anyone willing to deliver a letter. Anyone can be a deputy as long as there is respect for the letters, trust in people and care for the environment. There is a verbal ethos attached with it though. If you decide to transport a letter, take the vow:
“I hereby promise to deliver all Lightfoot parcels with care, openness and awareness, for the greater good of my Planet – no matter the duration or process of the adventure”
So go write that letter, deliver one if you’re traveling or even set up a new location for a postbox!
Here’s how to set up a postbox in your area or on your travels:
1. Find a place you think needs a box. Usually a community space, and definitely a trustworthy environment. A co-op, or share-house, or even like-minded cafe will work.
2. Make that box …or basket, or case, or anything people can put letters into. Decorate away! Write a little explanation of how it works – sustainablepost.org is a good place to start.
3. Post the address of the new Lightfoot Box on sustainablepost.org
Lily raises her glass to you! (While she is sailing across the Atlantic Ocean)
Check out the website for where existing postboxes are, enjoy the adventure!
Postman image via: clositherapi.com