Letterboxing

Letterboxing is one of those odd past times that when you discover it, you can’t believe it has been going on all this time right under your nose. I learned of it from an old customer while I was set up at an art show in a park. The best website to learn about letterboxing is here, but a quick explanation would be “a scavenger hunt where each party exchanges rubber stamp imprints”.

After that customer told me about letterboxing, I looked it up when I got home and saw that there was a box hidden at the very park where the art show was. So I took one of my rubber stamps and a notebook and printed out the clues and the next morning after I set up my booth I grabbed my friend Claudia and we searched for the box. It took us only a short time to find it. Instant success, I was hooked!!!!

A letterbox kit contains a stamp, ink pad, notebook, and pen. The box you find will contain the same except for the inkpad.

I have letterboxed off and on over the years and spoke about it with my friend Alice who also heard of it but never embarked on it. So we finally set out to letterbox together. Recently, somebody planted a whole pile in the areas near where we live. Alice and I like to walk so she recommended two that were within a few miles of each other and offered sidewalks so we could safely get there.

Imprint of the Alpha-Omega stamp

The first was a graveyard that is part of Davidson College and the occupants of that cemetery were associated with the college in some capacity. Alice filled me in on some of the local history and we found our box which was called Alpha and Omega. All letterboxes have a theme. This appropriately used the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet to symbolize the beginning and end of life. The photo above shows an imprint of the stamp made by the person who planted this box that contains the letters Alpha and Omega. This person is a magnificent carver and also planted and carved the stamp for the next box.

Homeless Jesus by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz 

I was pretty excited about our next stop because I have heard about the Homeless Jesus statue but never saw it. It was one of those things I was going to get around to. So that was the day. We arrived at the church and first viewed the Homeless Jesus who was right out front. Now according to Alice, the statue caused quite a bit of controversy when it was first placed but now is accepted among the community at large. What is very nice is that a space is left at the end of the bench so if you want, you sit next to the sculpture. I did not do that but think I will go back in the future to do that. I enjoy finding quiet places to sit and contemplate and this would be one of those places. Apparently there are several of these sculptures so maybe there is one near your community.

So at first I thought the clues to this box were too easy because it gave you exact directions: “Turn right on the path and the box is hidden in the bush at the end of the building.” Sounded easy enough until you get to the end of the building and see lots of bushes. Eventually, we found it and exchanged stamps and signed the box log book. If you return to the photo with the Alpha Omega imprint, you can also see the stamp for this box which is the face of Jesus.

So that was our adventure Letterboxing! Happy that so many new ones have been planted.

5 thoughts on “Letterboxing

  1. Diane … Per usual, you open my world to new and interesting ways people participate in life! Thank you. The Philadelphia statue is located in front of St. John’s Hospice on Race Street.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think it was somewhere around mid-2017. St John’s is one of the few legitimate organizations in the Philadelphia area … caring for & providing real services for homeless men.

        Liked by 1 person

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