Church bells ring out in my neighborhood, bouncing off of old houses, recycling bins, and even blades of grass…making the earth shake in low agreement. This event occurs every quarter hour….which is quite frequent if not accustomed to these large brass bells. DING DONG! The sound blasts down my shared alley, easily flying past the cement steps, garages and cars…almost as if the sound’s pushing created the alley itself.
The sound of church bells has always been lovely to me. ”Roll down your window Amanda!” my mom would shriek in delight to 5-year-old me, while driving into downtown. It surprised me, however; that now living here- as an adult- I began to pay attention to them to keep track of time. Like many of us, I’ve gotten out of the habit of wearing a watch…who needs that contraption when I have an iphone that can tell me the exact time and weather in Uganda? But alas…my phone was 15 steps away and with frequent garden-soiled hands, the bells came in handy.
DING DONG! Shh….I quiet my mind….DING DONG! Ah, half past the hour. This has been my habit for the past year, recognizing the bell’s melodic rings and then noticing the time.
Did I remember to buy those eggs? That woman at the store was really rough while packing them! What did she think the shells were made of? Are brown eggs stronger than- DONG! Shoot. I missed it. Here I was “enjoying” nature and gardening, and I missed what time it was. Was that the first dong or second dong?
Yoga class was really amazing today, but I could have done better in Crow Pose…that man who did it so beautifully was amazing. If only I could do Crow Pose like- DONG! DONG! DONG! Ugh, was that really three gongs or did I miss another? These stupid bells were starting to be more frustrating than enjoyable.
Yet beautifully, the sweet bells carry a quiet message. They whisper to each of us, ‘It’s not a calling out of what time it is, but rather; a calling that it is time. Time to let go of the obsessive mental circles, time to not compare or measure, time to walk into the potential of your true self – who is here right now. Time to live in your heart, rather than your head. ‘
“Did I just hear something?” I thought. Nah… So anyway if I could do Crow like that…I would finally start to think I was decent at yoga and…
But the ever-present time has only that—endless time. And little do my obsessive circles know they have only 15 minutes longer before being interrupted by the present’s calling.