— By Jan Schroder
Although I’m a big fan of social media, (I just pinned a new item one of my Pinterest boards), I feel sad when I think of the lost art of letting writing. Somehow, <3 is just not a fulfilling expression of love when compared to a three-page letter extolling your virtues and lips like cherries.
One place where letter writing is still thriving is on Bird Island, North Carolina where people pen their thoughts, dreams, wishes and prayers and leave them in the Kindred Spirit mailbox. Located in the dunes more than a mile from the last public beach access on Sunset Beach, the mailbox still fills up with letters from people who walk there to deposit them, or who sit down on the nearby beach to write. An uninhabited 1,300-acres State Preserve barrier island, Bird Island is connected to Sunset Beach, 35 minutes north of Myrtle Beach.
People from all over the world have found the simple and charming mailbox and placed their letters inside. Some have mailed entire journals to an associated PO Box where they are held with “love, honor and respect by Kindred Spirit.”
Apparently no one knows who first placed the mailbox there more than 30 years ago, although they left this note: “Twenty seven years ago I walked the tide line of Bird Island. In the distance – right on the low tide line – I saw the silhouette of a rural mailbox. However, I never could reach it – for it was a mirage. The very next weekend, I ‘planted’ the original Kindred Spirit Mailbox.”
The mailbox and bench suffered a bit from surrounding erosion from Hurricane Irene in 2011 but were relocated by volunteers a few feet back from its original location.
For those who can’t make the trip, you can visit the virtual Kindred Spirit Mailbox here.