On February 23, 2012 I hurriedly flipped through the mail on the table sorting it into keep or recycle. I saw the face of this postcard, but didn’t notice the tattered edges and thought it was an ad for a cruise line.
As I tossed it to the recycle pile it landed back side up. Then I noticed the splotched writing my mom’s signature, the date March 27, 2009, and no stamp.
I carefully looked the card over noting it was from the Galapagos. Three years ago my mother visited the island. I read the least blotchy part of the card, “It will be amazing if you receive this. I’ll explain later.” I remembered the pictures she shared of her trip. In one she stood beside a box on a post on the beach. She told us how visitors to the island will look through the letters in the box and if they are going near to the destination take the letter home and mail it. She didn’t tell me she’d put in letters to my sister, my four step-siblings, and I. I realized the empty white business envelope with a scribbled Portland zip code in the return address spot was the medium for the postcard’s arrival in my mail box. I feel a fond affection for this unknown Portlander who sifted through the mail box, found the card and carried it all the way home. The traveler then took the time to decipher the address and mail to me. So far my card is the only one of the six my mom posted to make it to its destination. For three years it rubbed shoulders with other letters, was looked over by the visitors to the island, heard the sound of the ocean, and the call of the birds. Now it is propped up on my dresser, I little tale of world travel.
(in case you are wondering the postcard says: Dear Ones, this is truly a magical place. I've been walking among ? ? ? the sea lions, stepping over iguanas, watching Blue Footed Boobies and waving at dolphins. The Boobies are endemic to the Galapagos. It will be amazing if you receive this. I'll explain later. Love...)