Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Mailbox at Wrightsville Beach

At Wrightsville Beach, a few miles down the road from Wilmington, there is a mailbox. For years, no one knew who put it there. (The mystery has since been solved, but I won't spoil it for you.) It stands on the sand, next to the dunes. The closest houses are located on an island across the water, a short swim away. Although no one from the post office comes out to the beach to pick up or deliver letters, and no one claims the mailbox as their own, it's always full. 

What's inside? Notebooks, scraps of paper, spare pens, and seashells. A hundred different handwritings, a hundred short notes. Exuberant hellos, confessions, conversations, lessons learned and shared. A lot of the passages mention the beauty of the beach, the strangeness of the mailbox itself. Many of the notes are about love, romantic moments shared on the shore. A few are sad, full of mourning, longing, regret. Paging through the notebooks feels like a glimpse into a world we all share, but rarely acknowledge. 

Yesterday, Nathan and I packed up a small bottle of fancy champagne - a gift from a friend - and headed to the beach to find this mysterious mailbox. I'd read about it online, but in all the times I've been to Wrightsville Beach, I'd never noticed it. Probably because it's all the way at the North end, as far as you can walk, and we usually head to the South side. Yesterday, we made an exception. You see, it was our 12th anniversary (and our second wedding anniversary) and a quest to find a mysterious mailbox seemed like a good way to celebrate. 

We drank the champagne, sat on a blanket, and read the notebooks out loud to one another. Then we filled a page ourselves, filed our secrets and hopes and lessons into the mailbox for someone else to find. I hope that when they do, they are spending the day with someone who makes them happier than they ever thought possible, who fills their heart with joy and their life with adventure. 

Happy anniversary, my love. Here's to many, many more.