What’s the most beautiful sound to you?
The sound that brings back the most memories.
What sound is that?
The sound of bells ringing.
I had a purple cone shaped hat that had a bell at the tip. I would wear it all night and use it to wake everyone up when I couldn’t sleep. It left me feeling assured that my family would always be present, even in my darkest moments. The assurance remained long after the hat disappeared.
The pleasant ringing of bells remind me of my childhood. It brings me back to my belief in Santa Clause and his bag full of treats. It reminds me of the first time my brother taught me how to cycle. It reminds me of Quasimodo and his majestic bells. It brings me back to a time of innocence.
I am reminded of exciting events. Like travelling and staying at hotels. Where I wouldn’t resist the urge to ring the bell every time I passed by the reception. The first time I wore an anklet and felt like I was more than myself. The bells brought out the rebel in me, the side of me that refused to be a part of the system.
The sound of bells remind me of my ordinary everyday routine. In school, the bell ringing would represent both the end and the beginning. I discovered the complexity of my own emotions, how I could feel both sad and happy at the same time. Black’s and white’s now had various shades of grey.
Bells remind me of home, of my Father’s house. Where I go to give Him praise, to fellowship with my family, to put down my baggage's, to shed my tears, to celebrate my victories, to rejoice in His name, to seek forgiveness, to strengthen my resolve and to be myself, to be free.
They all sound like really good memories.
Then you have misunderstood. All the memories I have mentioned may sound happy enough, but they’re all attached to painful experiences and lessons learned.
I don’t understand?
I started ringing my hat after I was introduced to the concept of death. I was afraid to go to sleep and be consumed by the darkness, but I was also afraid to stay awake alone because I didn’t want the bad man to come back and hurt me. So ringing the bell was my cry for help.
I am brought back to the year my belief in Santa was shattered, when my dad went bankrupt and we lost more than just presents. I experienced a bad collision with my brother while I was cycling and the pain seemed to stretch on forever (or so my little mind thought). I saw how unfairly people treated those who were different. I broke my wings because I was afraid of being different. I am reminded of the loss of my innocence.
As I remember school, I remember my first love, and with it, my first heartbreak. I remember receiving the news that my dog has died while I was at school. I remember the unfairness I felt from teachers at school. I remember how my rebellious nature led me to bad choices and horrible mistakes. I remember making my mum cry.
I am reminded of the times I had turned away from God, the times I have out rightly rejected Him and other time, when I kept Him waiting. I remember being ashamed of the person i was. I remember losing my way and not knowing how or if I could ever come back. I remember all the times I was caged by my own sins.
Don’t worry, they’re not all bad. Like I said, I like the sound of bells because they bring back the most memories. These memories have shaped me. By separating them, you can clearly see the good and bad. However, life is not binary of zeroes and ones. Our memories are neither good nor bad. They are the past which may define the present but have no hold on the future.
That’s the last reason why I like the sound of bells, it gives me hope for the future.