Happy Valentines Day!
(Better late than never, right?)
This year I participated in the Handmade Valentine Exchange—a simple activity to share the spirit of love with a complete stranger.
From the Handmade Valentine Exchange site: Photographer and artist Julia Parris loves snail mail, and has been sending letters to friends around the world for as long as she can remember. In 2011 she started what would become known as the Handmade Valentine Exchange. At the time, Julia was making and sending valentines to a handful of friends around the globe, but the next year she invited the public to join and it doubled in size. Last year participation grew to include over 2000 people from as far as Germany, Spain, France, UK, Russia, Australia, Costa Rica and US.
Several evenings last week I quietly set to cutting, composing and gluing a series of cards and documented it on Instagram with the hashtag #handmadevalentineexchange. It was fun not to overthink it. I just created piles of cut paper and markers and went to work. By Friday I put my 10 cards in the mail and sent them off across the country and across the ocean to the UK and Spain.
As of Valentine's Day I've received three reply Valentines. But it almost doesn't matter to. The real gift was in creating my cards and thinking about the strangers opening them. Imagining their lives and experiences.