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Kindred Spirits – August 13, 2017

Kelcy Fowler kelcy@coolworks.com

Nestled into the dunes of a nature preserve on a remote stretch of beach on the coast of North Carolina stands a solitary mailbox.

The “Kindred Spirit” mailbox has lived on a remote stretch called Bird Island for more than 35 years. It’s jam packed with notebooks that have been filled with people’s happiest memories and heartbreaks. New memories made on a family beach vacation, or old, sweet, sad or painful stories or letters to lost loved ones, which their owners have been carrying for years. It’s a remarkable thing – a mailbox a mile and a half down a remote beach to which people pilgrimage, care for and return to for years, to share, confide and tell their stories. A group of local volunteers cares for and stocks the mailbox with journals and pens. The many journals filled with 35 years of stories have become a part of a special collection at University of North Carolina Wilmington.

What a lovely thing that such a spot and a magical mailbox exists. It’s a bit of a complicated and challenging time on the planet at this moment in time. The Kindred Spirits Mailbox reminded me that with all the noise, uncertainty, and fear that seems to echo all around us these days, it’s more important than ever to take some time to sit, to reflect, and to write down our own stories. Whether we’re sharing them with strangers or capturing them to share with ourselves years from now, reflection is a cathartic, special opportunity, one that we’re becoming more and more accustomed to doing without in the world of screens and social feeds.

After my trip to the mailbox, I’m going to try to make more time for a pen, paper, and perspective that comes from capturing our stories the old fashioned way.

If you’d ever like to share the stories that you’re out there creating, your friends here at CoolWorks would love to hear about them. Drop us a line and let us know if you’d be up for sharing your story with the larger CoolWorks Community.


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