Between now and Christmas, the three next volumes of Amish Circle Letters will be published. In the next week, you will be able to read Lizzie’s Letter (Volume 5). That brings us halfway through the circle.
Letter writing is an art form…one that is rapidly becoming lost amidst the age of technology with 140 character Twitter postings and short Facebook statuses. Children communicate with their parents and grandparents via text messages, filled with a new and strange language that lacks vowels and requires expert knowledge in a creative language art skills.
I love reading old letters. I have a bin full of letters from my grandmother, Sarah Marie. During my college years, I was an avid traveler…spending summers in Europe or Alaska or exploring the continental USA. We communicated by letters (yes, this was BEFORE cell phones…remember those days?). I would write to her, asking about the Mennonite religion and her beliefs about God. She would write back with answers to my questions and ask me some new questions to reflect upon. When I string these letters together, they tell an amazing tale…a tale of two very different generations coming together through the beauty of the written word.
There is power in the written word…the power of reflection, compassion, and intelligence (or, in some cases, lack thereof)! Abused, the written word is dangerous. Respected and the written word becomes something magical and precious, something to be cherished and passed down through the generations…like letters from my grandmother to my children.
Amish Circle Letters is about this very thing. Since the Amish do not use cell phones (as a rule), they can communicate by visiting in person or through letters. Social phone calls are a no-no in most church districts. They believe it is better to live a slower life, one that is full of reflection, compassion, and intelligence…not rapid texts, emails, or phone calls that can intrude on our private time.
My short stories in Amish Circle Letters weave together that very reflection, compassion, and intelligence of letter writing. As each letter is written, the reader learns more about the family…how they interact, how they respond, and how they feel. If you haven’t started reading the circle, I invite you to do so. I promise that you won’t be disappointed in the lives that you are introduced to in each volume.