I was standing in front of the Microwave Oven this morning. It was waving. So I waved back. But that wasn’t the thing that struck me. When my coffee was all heated up nice and warm, that Microwave dinged. A little bell sounded to let me know. All done. An alert.
That’s one thing that bells do. They alert us. They get our attention concerning a time, or an event. Or even an emergency.
Like back on the old prairie days. Whenever there was a fire, or a bank robbery, or some sort of shenanigan, someone in the town would ring the church bell like a madman. Of course, it would be at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday, so everyone would know it wasn’t time for church. No. Instead, they knew to get in their wagons, and drive, like madmen again, to the town. They gathered there and put out the fire, or chased the robber, or spilled the soup.
I saw it on Little House on the Prairie, so it must be true. Don’t mind about the soup. That was all Nellie’s fault in the end.
Anyway. Bells. They first came around to us about 2000 years B.C. Yes indeed. More than four thousand years ago. In the great land of Ancient China. Because that is where they started to figure out the whole progression of metallurgy.
Bells started to emerge slowly. They worked their way into all parts of Chinese culture, religion and their way of life.
As the centuries continued, the whole creation of bells became this very honored art. Artist-Bellmakers would use images and themes that attracted the attention for Royalty and nobility in China. And that sort of shifted those bells into a different category. They became a symbol of wealth, and power. Influence.
But. Bells started spreading across Asia and India and on to Japan. And when they did, they became more for the people. Smaller bells. And people used them for practical purposes. Mostly notifications.
Eventually, they became associated with religion. Buddhism, Hindu, Shinto, and even Ancient Egyptian religion of sun gods.
Before Christianity even appeared, bells were viewed as a musical instrument of the gods. The bells had a sacred place of their own. Bells could carry the will of the gods across the land. They could do all sorts of things, like provide peace, clear people’s minds, exile bad spirits and provide happiness. I need to buy one of those very good bells. I’ll just walk up and down the streets around here, ringing my bell.
And finally, once the Bible rolled around, it gave mention to bells. Like in the tales of Moses who studied priesthood in Egypt and carried knowledge of bells and gongs to Christianity. I thinks.
We have pseudo-bells in a lot of churches here in this country, but they only play recordings of bells. Fake Chiming. I am not sure how many actual bell-ringer-churches are in the United States, but they are all over the United Kingdom. There are around 5,000 of them in Britain. I think I’d like to be a bell ringer, if I lived in England.
Anyway, I’ll just have to stick to walking up and down Barron Street with my hand bell. Ringing away evil spirits. And such. If I put on a bonnet and a black cape, people might hand me money. Especially at this time of year. But I’d give the money back, and explain about the evil spirits, and the clearing of the minds, and peace making.
I’ll probably be on my own in this one. But, I once knew twin Monks who rang church bells. They both passed away. Dead ringers.
Ah, but right now, I think I hear something ringing, and I have to go.
Thankfully, for all of you. Saved by the bell.
“And still, after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.”
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
― Jane Goodall
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson