I have been speculating on what I consider a blessing to be in 2013…and why!

A blessing. It is defined in the dictionary as the infusion of something with holiness. A blessing allows for my spiritual redemption. It is the will of God. It is my hope for approval from others.

The modern English language term bless is probably derived from the term blessen, first heard in 1225, which in turn derived from the Old English, blǣdsian, which appeared first in the Northumbrian dialect around 950 AD. The term also appears in other words, such as blēdsian from some time before 830, blētsian from possibly around 725 and blesian from the year 1000, or near enough. All mean to make sacred or holy by some kind of sacrificial rituals. This was in the Anglo-saxon era. The word found its origin in German pagan customs, and means to mark with blood. This is where the term blōd, meaning ‘to blood’ comes from.

So to bless someone is, literally, to express the wish that they find God’s favour. More prosaically, if I bless someone, I am wishing them well. In this fast food day and age, we seem to have lost the connections we used to have. We have neglected the art of socialising. We have forgotten what it means to REALLY communicate.

Instead, we conduct our lives via text messages. We structure our lives around email. We speak and write in a truncated way, in acronyms. When is the only time we are likely to get anything handwritten? A note on a birthday present. Or a card at Christmas.

So when an old friend sent me a letter, it truly felt like a blessing. This woman had with forethought and intention, sat down to write about her life at that moment, her hopes and dreams. She also wanted to know how I was, what I was up to, what my plans for the coming year were. And she had chosen to send this missive to me. Mindfulness had inspired her to write it…in gratitude it was joyfully received. Not least because it is such a rare and precious gift, in this day and age. So when next you receive a handwritten note, whether it is a scribble or a tome, consider this…it is the 2013 equivalent of a blessing…..it was destined for you, to benefit you alone… do not just crumple it up and throw it away.