Dear Richmond: Words of Encouragement

Hidden deep in the James River Park System, tucked quietly under a moss-covered granite cliff, is the Grid Mailbox. Inside you’ll find the Dear Richmond journal, a collaborative writing experiment created with the James River Park System. For those who stumble upon it, the community journal serves as a special place to write a love letter to RVA, a call to action, hopes for a better future, or simply the words you need to hear. These are just a few of the most recent entries: 

“To dreams and adventures. To love and hope. Be good to each other.

“Be where your feet are!”

“One day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time. Breathe deep in these woods and it will breathe life into you.”

“I have failed too many times to count. And yet, here I stand. Starting over again. But this time happy to do it. There is always something else. This is never the end. I have proof that this will get better. Love.”

“Dear Richmond: What a magical place we live in.”

“Thank you for being a safe space for all who wander by in Richmond. We all need a little brightness and connection in this shared experience. Here’s to new endeavors and new adventures yet to come.”

“Today I am grateful for: My higher power who is with me always so that I am never alone. Being ok being by myself. The journey. Not the destination. Waking up thinking of others instead of myself. Letting go of the need for approval. Having motivation to get out in Nature. My church. Being strong and fit and healthy and full of life. My daughter and son-in-law and grandson. They give me love and comfort and understanding. My sponsor and spiritual guide to keep me on track. To be sober today.”

“Please, remember you are sacred and beautiful.”

“For anyone needing positivity: you can do it. Everything happens one step at a time, so it’s up to you how large that first step is. Big or small – a first step is still a first step.”

“You are the light. Shine bright.”

“Visiting my best friend on a journey to reconnect with my inner self. The trail is so healing and bringing me back to what’s important in life.”

“Just know that to exist is beautiful.”

“Solo hiker trying to get in as many miles on these trails as I can. Did the 7 mile Buttermilk-North Loop yesterday. Veered off to the Quarry Loop tonight. Stumbled upon the mailbox. I love RVA.”

“Have an awesome day. Watch out for snakes.”

“It’s life’s easter eggs like this mailbox that make you think. We need places like the James River Park System. Cherish it and remember to leave it cleaner than you found it. Leave no trace.”

“These days are hard for me. The trails help. For anyone else who is struggling today, you aren’t alone. The trails and I are here for you.”

“What a lovely surprise in a lovely place. Thanks for making an already great day even greater.”

“Hello from Vashon Island, WA. Nice to enjoy your trails.”

“Dear Richmond: I am grateful for my grandson. I am grateful for my mountain bike. I am grateful for my mom and dad. I am grateful for my daughter. I am grateful for my home. I am grateful to provide a home for others. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful for nature. I am grateful for whoever left the gum in Grid’s mailbox.

“I am sweating all over this notebook mid trail. It’s humid AF, but you can’t beat it.”

“Hope whoever finds this is having a nice day.”

CategoriesGeneral, Live, Storytellers

Publisher and Editor in Chief of Richmond Grid magazine, a conscious lifestyle publication designed to celebrate how the region works, lives and plays. Richmond Grid magazine is a B-Certified business that uses a community-based, solution-oriented approach to shift the region for good.