It was a warm afternoon, so I slid open the patio doors and pulled out a patio chair to enjoy a few minutes of just being. Although it was warm,, it was breezy, so the wind chimes hanging in the corner of the screened in patio were dancing and playing a simple but complicated tune. My feelings about those wind chimes were also complicated.
Last August, during the calling hours for my mother’s funeral, our murmuring conversations were abruptly interrupted by the sound of clanging, clanging that was moving into the room. My first reaction was to be indignant. Why would somebody come clanging into this quiet room uninvited, and what on earth was that? Someone else jumped up and greeted the visitor and took care of the noise, and I didn’t give it another thought. Later, I learned that a thoughtful neighbor of my mother’s had brought wind chimes as a gift, a charming way to remember my mother and the friends she had back in French Lick, Indiana. Sadly, the name of the giver of this gift was lost in the transporting of the flowers and memorabilia from the funeral home to my garage. As Kara and I sorted through my mother’s belongings, books, glassware, records, jewelry, etc., we discovered the chimes. “Don’t give these away,” Kara said. “If you don’t want them, I do.” But in the end, she decided she didn’t really have a place for them, but I did. I had actually been thinking about getting some dainty wind chimes for that corner, not these huge things that are meant for a much larger piece of property, but now that they’re up, I’m adjusting to their tones. After all, my mother was a huge part of my life, so why shouldn’t she be remembered by big sounds? And she loved music. It’s appropriate after all.
I have a set of Blue Willow plates that I display on the tops of my kitchen cabinets. They are there, in memory of my beloved grandmother, who used them for her everyday dishes. I have wonderful memories of enjoying fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy on those plates, with fresh green beans from the garden, and blackberry cobbler. But I can’t see those plates way up there. I have 1 that is chipped that I keep in my own everyday dishes, and now and then I use it, in honor of my grandma. Other people have photos and portraits than hang on the wall. I have a plate that I can hold in my hands and wind chimes that dance in the wind and remind me of the blessings I have received from the women in my life.