"Old stamp collectors never die," I said to a friend one evening; "they just get returned to Sender." She immediately popped back with: "Nancy, that was first class!"
I am an old stamp collector, I'll admit it, even though the collection is long gone. I suspect the fascination hit with my first postcard from an aunt vacationing an entire state away. I saved the card (after all, receiving my own mail then was a Very Big Deal). Having a great time, said aunty; the weather is good. Wish you were here... and oh, how I wished it too. Such exotic lands my relatives visited. Ohio! Peoria! Kansas! Des Moines! The very names were colorful, as were the stamps on their cards. I began a collection of both, poring over paper fragments of adventure on lazy afternoons.
I knew I loved to travel; never mind that I never did. I loved caves, too, although I'd never been in one. I loved astronomy even if my view was limited to the blob of quivery moon I tried to focus on through a cardboard cereal-premium "telescope." ("send in 3 boxtops and 25 cents"). My sense of adventure was unbounded. Actual travel? Well, that was limited by my dad's job and a second-hand Chevrolet.
My stamp collection is gone now, and I am very practical. I buy stamps I really like, then stick them on envelopes to put them to good use. I no longer have to imagine travel, I simply call it up from memories. I've gone to numerous states and well beyond.. even to the other side of the earth. Maybe I'll travel a lot more - who knows? But regardless, there will always remain one Great Adventure. I just pray for grace to look forward with anticipation to that one, and to the amazing experience of seeing face to Face my Sender. He is bigger than the earth, more brilliant than the moon, grander than Des Moines.
"And men go abroad to admire the heights and mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the long courses of rivers, the vast compass of the ocean, and the circular motion of the stars, and yet pass themselves by..." (St. Augustine)
(photo from US postal service via Wikimedia Commons)