Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Mystery of the Chimes

A week or so ago, we experienced a lovely day here in the Shire.
It was the kind of day in October that I like the most: 
clear blue skies, an absence of mosquitoes, and warm sun.
My pekingese Wylie sat on the top step of our deck
and stared out across the lawn at nothing in particular.

I saw him through the window and decided to go out and join him.
I sat down on the step beside him and put my hand on his back,
which felt warm from the sun.
And there we sat together, 
he and I looking out over the steps into space.

The difference between us was that, more than likely,
Wylie's mind was calm but mine was full of thought.
I sat contemplating my life: things that were going well, 
things that weren't going well.
Looking back over my own errors and missteps, 
trying to figure out why I seem to repeat the same life mistakes over and over.
Suddenly, I had an epiphany.
And at that precise moment, to my astonishment,
the ceramic chimes hanging over my head chimed one clear, true, pure note.

I looked at the chime, 
still swinging ever so slightly from the reverberation of the sound.
The other chimes were not moving at all.
I looked at the trees. Not a hint of breeze in the air.
Everything was dead still.

I got up and looked at the roof, 
certain a squirrel must have bumped the chimes as it ascended. 
No squirrel.
A tree frog then. Perhaps a tree frog had landed on it, causing it to stir. 
No tree frogs anywhere near. None at all.
What a mystery, I thought.

I rather liked the idea that somewhere from the ether,
an angel had rung the chime for my benefit,
kind of a heavenly affirmation that I had figured some things out.

Then, last night I was watering some of the surviving flowers on my deck.
I came and went through the door several times 
until suddenly a small wren lit on the back of the glider near the door.
It was chirping and singing at the top of its tiny lungs.
I waited for him to leave, but when he didn't I came through the door anyway,
causing him to take flight.

And where did he go?
Right here:

The wren rested on a small bar inside the largest ceramic chime,
tucking himself into it so well 
that only the tip of his tail was visible.

Well, imagine that, I thought to myself. 
Did he build a nest in there? 
Is he roosting in there?
As I contemplated the wren,
he flew out of the chime,
causing it to ring one clear, true, pure note.

The ceramic chimes swayed gently,
the others were undisturbed.
My mystery solved.

Even though I know now that the wren had rung the chime 
at the moment of my epiphany,
I still like to think that maybe, 
he was heaven sent.

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