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HomeThe Kindred Spirits MailboxThe Kindred Spirits Mailbox

The Kindred Spirits Mailbox

…. is truly one of the most unexpectedly magical places I have ever been.

The Kindred Spirits mailbox is a real mailbox, with a flag and old wooden post, that is positioned on an Atlantic beach, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  This simple box, located on Bird Island, holds notebooks in which people have written for 40 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

What would these people, traveling for miles, write in a blank notebook?  You would be surprised.

Over the span of decades, thousands have made pilgrimage to the Kindred Spirit.  All different walks of life have penned heartfelt notes in the mailbox’s journals, but one message rings clearest above all else: Love endures.

~Our State Magazine, author—Katie Quine.  

After reading this article about the more than 100,000 people that have visited this North Carolina landmark, I must admit I was intrigued.  It seemed like such a sweet idea that the 90-year old Frank Nesmith had when he originally put it up in the late 70s. He says it was for the love of a woman, (even if the relationship didn’t last) and that it was actually the idea of his girl, Claudia.  But the power of this inanimate object goes way beyond a broken love connection.

I had wanted to make the trek across the dunes located on Bird Island myself but never seemed to have the time or energy that coordinated with low tide.  And then the perfect opportunity arose when our best friends came in for a weekend of sailing. Leanne and I left the “menfolk” in charge of their 4 year old and headed out  on our quest.

First we took the dinghy from the S/V Music to the shore of Sunset Beach, NC and excited started our mailbox pilgrimage.  She and I giggled and laughed and cracked jokes about whether we could last on “Survivor” as we crossed over dunes and tides pools in the hot September sun.

There were a few paths that were easy to follow but there also was just as much stamping through tall swamp grass (Thank goodness we were knowledgeable enough to go at low tide).  I felt the need to yell loudly that I was a Bushwacker as I thrashed the brush aside hoping to scare away any undesirable critters. After all, I was leading the way and felt the need to protect my friend as this journey was all my idea.

I will admit that it was a fun adventure just for us to go on a unknown trek, even if we weren’t sure was going to be “all that”.

Boy, were we surprised.

As we made it to the other side of the island onto the Atlantic shore, we walked down the beach towards the spot that Google Earth had shown the mailbox to be.  And just as quickly as our eyes located the mailbox perched up on the sand dune, our giggles stopped. The sight of that postbox should have been a silly one. I mean, the vision of a derelict postal chest with no house connected to it and facing the Atlantic Ocean should have been one to excite even MORE giggles.

But that is where the oddly spiritual aura surrounding this out-of-place object becomes unexplainable.  But I will give it a good try.

The first thing that both Leanne and I were very aware of was the thousands of footsteps in the sand.  The beach itself had very few signs of human traffic but yet there was a 200 foot wide cone of imprints that narrowed until making a point right to the Kindred Spirit.  It was as if she was calling to those souls, beckoning them to share their stories and inviting them to her warm embrace. A mailbox made of hard metal and steel that had all the loving energy of a mother’s arms.  One would never have imagined such an intensity from something so simple.

Even when opening the creaking metal door, one felt that the stories of many souls were inside and finally able to be heard.  This simple apparatus moved us both to quiet tears. She, the Kindred Spirit herself, was bigger than I had ever imagined and we were now joined with the many that have come to this place before us.  All of us. Kindred Spirits.

As we each sat on the two benches that skirted each side of the box, the hypnotic sound of the ocean waves and the beauty of nature before us, we quietly shared our private thoughts with her. 

And it felt soul cleansing.

And comforting.

And magical.

Now our voices will be some of the ones heard when someone follows behind us and opens that old hardware door.  And they too, if they are as blessed as we were to experience this, will join the Kindred Spirits. Our words may have been added to the blank pages and those notebooks may be kept in the library at University of North Carolina, Wilmington, but the thoughts, prayers, bereavements, and dreams are housed right inside those tin walls.

And yes, there is always room for more.

Thank you, Frank and Claudia, for this beautiful gift you have given the world.

If you would like to read my entry, please feel free to click here.  It is my pleasure to share: My entry

To find out more about what happens to the archived journals, please read this article

The Sunny Sailor – Cara

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