Omodos is a quaint, wine-making village in the Troödos mountains, just over 40 kilometres from Limassol. As I explored the village early one morning, I came across the old letter box pictured above on the wall of one of the village houses. With a wave of nostalgia, I could not help but reminisce about the letter-writing days I had enjoyed in earlier times.
Communication via the personal touch of a handwritten letter is now something of the past due to the burgeoning of emails and social media. While I am thankful for this technological miracle which makes our world function much more efficiently, there will always be a sentimentality for a hand-written letter in my heart.
Delivery of Letters
Letter writing is accredited to Persian Queen Atossa around the year 500 BC according to ancient historian Hellanicus. As people became literate, this method of communication grew over the centuries. Letters were delivered by messengers on foot or horseback in the Roman empire and even by pigeons in the Arab world! Pigeons have also been used by the military at different periods in history.
The Royal Mail system was established in the UK by Henry VIII, when the recipient would pay for delivery. This changed with the creation and development of postage stamps in the 1800s, for which keen philatelists are undoubtedly most grateful.
There have been many significant letters written since Queen Atossa's day. Many have changed the course of history by inspiring the actions of the recipients. For me, the greatest letters ever penned were by Christianity's most influential writer, the Apostle Paul. The words are inspired by the Holy Spirit and were a direct revelation from heaven. Great mysteries of the Christian faith have been revealed through his pen and his words of encouragement have resonated in many hearts through the annals of history. His definition of love, found in 1 Corinthians 13, has not been surpassed:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (verses 4-7 ESV)
The letter box in Omodos evoked an unexpected nostalgia. However, the days of letter writing are part of the past and will never compete with instant messaging.
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Enjoy the rest of my pictures of Omodos.