a gentle breeze was
lightly tussling shells and stones
meant to strike on each other to sibilate,
hiss, and whisper your own
freshly loosed thoughts
back into your soul.
like voices afar off
the jangling of each woven shroud
brought sundry pitch and textured sounds
awakening new areas of my mind.
deep breaths of open musing
rose and fell with the wind as it
returned to tantalize the ornamental chimes
that had waited so long in silence.
Lifted on the breeze
freed to manifest each ubiquitous interval
and send forth vibrations into
nature’s lonely sentiment.
I close my eyes and feel the sounds
made so effortlessly
that tranquilize my worries
and open my heart to hear
the rapture of the universe.
–so fortunate to be sitting here.
~Suzanne Eaton “windchimes”
She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,
windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.
She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
because it wasn’t there...
~Tony Hoagland from “Windchime”
Once upon a time, nearly 5 decades ago, I attended a university with a bell carillon in a tower that frequently played wonderful concerts. I missed spontaneous music floating on the air after I graduated. Living rural, we are nowhere near a bell tower, nor can we hear our church bells ringing in our Chapel belfry a few miles away.
So when the merest breeze is able to make music, I find it a hopeful reminder the earth itself has its own breath and rhythm and holds its own concerts if given the tools.
We have four windchimes of varying size and tuning hanging from our front porch and back yard, each with its own song and personality. Depending on where we are in the house, we hear different harmony and pitch. The largest sounds like church bells, deep and resonant, another is a pentatonix of harmony, one plays the notes of “Amazing Grace” and the last is just random tintinnabulation.
In certain seasons, our area can get strong northeast or southerly winds that blow over 50 mph. In that case, we take the windchimes down temporarily – the battering clatter and clanging becomes more unsettling than the storm itself. Once the winds die down again, it is too quiet – the silence reminds me to replace the chimes on their hooks.
As I wake in the night to hear their gentle melodies through our open window, my worries are soothed and my heart lifts and floats along with the breeze.
The earth continues to breath and so, for now, will I.
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3 thoughts on “Lifted on the Breeze”
Thank you for another wonderful post! I love having wind chimes on the north and south sides of my house so that I know when the fronts arrive, ‘first gust’ which I love so. This week I discovered a nice and usable Italian word, raffica’, which means a sudden gust of wind. (It would be a nice name for a spirited horse!) You’ve probably read this book Emily, but if not I know you would love it, it is called the ‘Outermost House’ by Henry Beston. He spent a year in the late 1920’s in a very primitive cabin on Cape Cod, observing all that nature bestowed. He is like you, a talented and descriptive writer. It’s a beautiful read!
I have copied many quotes from the book into my notes, here’s an appetizer:
“The world to-day is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot. In my world of beach and dunes these elemental presences lived and had their being, and under their arch there moved an incomparable pageant of nature and the year.”
Have a wonderful first weekend of June! Summer is here, praise the Lord!
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thanks so much for this, MaryBeth – I’ll look up Henry Beston’s book, it sounds wonderful! And “raffica” is a great word, kind of like “petrichor!” Blessings, Emily
We have windchimes hung in various trees in our backyard. The sound, no matter what time of day, has the ability to soothe like nothing else. This post is just lovely.