This essay, by Marylhurst Postmaster Mark D. Smith, first appeared on the United States Postal Service blog. We thought our readers would enjoy it in the spirit of the season.
One morning in late summer 2012, I arrived at my job as Postmaster Relief at the Donald, OR, Post Office in Oregon’s rural Marion County. It’s a quiet little town with a quiet little Post Office, but this day there was a new sound – something familiar but often ignored. Birds, chirruping and twittering. But these were no digital tweets. This was real life.
A good number of Donald’s customers work in farming, and this morning’s singing telegram was a shipment of infant turkeys belonging to a local man planning to raise them for Thanksgiving. I phoned him at the number listed on the carefully-prepared Priority Mail packaging, and he arrived an hour later to collect his musical treasures. Before he arrived, I went about my morning tasks of sorting and distributing the day’s mail. But there was something more than just birdsong in the air. Something almost meditative stirred my soul, reconnecting me to the larger, natural world that gets no notice in the Information Age.