I perched on the edge of my tumble-down porch furniture and decided to not-read. It was a little chilly and a little too breezy to cozy into a book. Matt had come out with me to wait for the bus, so we visited a little. I asked how he liked Public School and we talked about the different classes. It was nice.
I also concentrated on listening to the sounds of spring. The meadowlarks were calling. My wind chimes were gently chiming.
I got my chimes for Christmas many years ago from my mom. They are bronze pipes and they are of lengths that blend into a pleasing harmony. When we first moved here, I had them out on our front porch and they drove Joe nuts with their constant clanging. And truly, they did clang and gong and bong. It is very windy here. The clanging of the chimes was beyond the pleasant harmonies one expects of wind chimes and would more accurately have been described as a cacophony.
Joe would bring the chimes in for a few moments of silence when their stridency got to be too much to bear (stri·dent adj. Loud, harsh, grating, or shrill; discordant. I'm using the loud, harsh and shrill definitions here, not the grating or discordant, mind you). After a few days respite, I'd stubbornly hang the chimes back out. At some point during the summer, the little wooden paddle at the bottom broke off, from the blustery assault to which it was constantly subjected. I tried a few times to fix it in one way or another and eventually gave up.
We brought them at the end of summer and put them in the closet on a shelf. Where they sat for several years. I guess knowing they drove Joe nuts, I didn't want to plague him. Eventually, during a cleaning rampage, I discovered the chimes on the closet shelf and was overcome with a desire to hear their mellow tones. I suppose the intervening years had softened my memory of what the local winds did with the pipes.
After I once again hung them from their hook on our front porch, I made a pleasurable discovery. Without the wooden paddle hanging from the center (yes, the very paddle I tried numerous times to reattach), without this paddle, the chimes were very pleasant. As they were designed to be in any less windy domicile. The remaining string with it's little knot at the end provides just the needed resistance to gently knock the musical pipes together in the pleasing harmonies they were intended to produce. What a discovery!
And so our paddle free wind chimes are the perfect addition to our summer enjoyment. Their dinging is pleasant in all but the most aggressive northwest Minnesota winds. We can hear them gently calling their songs throughout our days, but they no longer rattle our brains.
And so this morning I was out on my front porch not-reading. But listening. And feeling the cool breeze. And just drinking in, along with my coffee, thoughts of spring and the coming summer and the end of another winter's hibernation.
The Year's at the Spring
by Robert Browning
The year's at the spring
And the day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in His heaven-
All's right with the world!