I recently rediscovered these words of John O’Donohue:
Stranded between time
Gone and time emerging,
We manage seldom
To be where we are. John O’Donohue
He speaks to attentiveness and awareness of what is; not obsessing about the past, or worrying about the future. Oh for the grace and intention to live in such a way, if only for a moment.
Two weeks ago, we had bell-choir rehearsal, socially distanced at tables spread out on the sidewalk on the Spring Street side of the church. We’ve not had choir of any kind since February, so this was a welcome return to something normal, although normal it was not. Aside from Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Bell Ringers, I’ve never seen, or heard for that matter, a bell choir ringing outdoors. Those bells are extremely sensitive to temperature and humidity and it had threatened rain all day. But challenging times call for extreme measures.
Armed with face masks and hand sanitizer, we rang our bells boldly as cars passed by, heads turning to check out the spectacle. One local character walked down and then back up the street, smiling, walking to the beat, and waving his arms like an orchestra conductor as he passed.
It was one of the happiest, totally present experiences I’ve had in a while. We rang, sometimes on the wrong beat, laughed at ourselves and for the pure joy of making music, together. At one point there was a moment when one song ended, and for a few glorious moments, silence enveloped us. It was a stranded between time. Then I heard it, a chorus of crickets filling our silence with their vibrato chirping.
It’s hard in times of stress (and who isn’t stressed in this season) to be present, fully present, to the moment, to the people passing by, the vibrational sound of the bells that extends beyond our ringing, into the next moment, to the sounds of crickets, perhaps the whisper of Spirit’s wind within their wings.
Be where you are today ~ Anne