Each Sunday morning the pealing bells resonated through the village.
Time for church. They beckoned in full deep resonant tones. My
Dad recalled the church bells of his youth and the old gray stone
Church. Clocks chimed every quarter hour. Those early Massachusetts
years with fond memories of bells. My first grade teacher kept her
school bell on her desk and used it to call us in from recess. On
the Colorado mantel shelf we had a collection of bells and clocks.
My Dad wound that clock daily using a dedicated key. Before
our current church was built, I played the organ in a former
one room schoolhouse on the prairie. Magical times. My Dad loved
the sound of the school bell in the bell tower. Sonorous tones.
Later in my CU Boulder studies, I watched the bell ringer
grab hold of the long rope suspended from the huge bell in
the oldest building called Old Main, 1876. He took a run below
and then his feet left the floor as he fell into rhythm with the
ringing bell. So many of the real bells have been replaced with
mechanical ones which are simply not the same. During my
studies at the university in Heidelberg, the days were filled with
clocks chiming the quarter hour and church bells. Loud. In
Switzerland the cows wore bells around their necks. Large ones.
as they went to summer pastures in the Alps. We have one
hanging in the kitchen near the door. In our German village, a
farmer rang a bell announcing his wares: Kartoffeln/potatoes.
Just harvested. In our current home, an old man walked through
the neighborhood with a large round stone in tow. He rang
a bell and shouted “knives, scissors sharpened.” We all ran to
fetch our dull cutlery. Traditions from the old country. Bells
surround us in our daily lives. Doorbells, wind chimes, church bells,
jingle bells, music box chimes, vehicle warning bells. They tug at
heartstrings. As we amble through the snow-covered landscape
engaged in deep thought, our wandering gazes notice small things.
Peaceful. Silent except for distant bells beckoning us a welcome.