Sometimes the bells of our longing, the harbingers of what will bring us more alive, ring only faintly, at the edge of our hearing. We might hear a haunting sweetness on the air and look up to listen. But the sound fades, and we’re suddenly uncertain if we heard anything at all. So we shrug, and return to whatever we were doing. But the bells’ calling leaves behind some strange restlessness or yearning.
I once thought such bells rang faintly because they weren’t important. But over the last few years I’ve discovered the opposite is true: faint ringing is the ringing I need to heed most. The bells are only faint because I can’t clear away the obstacles in my life that are stopping me from hearing them. Obstacles like the towers of distraction, fear, numbness, and especially, strategic thinking placed before heart thinking—all the many reasons we stay safely at home. Sometimes it is wise and necessary to stay home. But doing that all the time leads to the death of whole-hearted living.
So follow the ringing that come faintly on the wind. Follow the bells which call you out of your comfortable dwellings of body and spirit. Follow the bells until you stand beneath them in all their bronze glory and hear the now clamorous ringing that compelled you to find them. If you do, you will find that boundaries of your kingdom—your heart, your life, your soul—have been pushed outward.
We will never discover all that’s waiting for us. There are still bells waiting, calling, and that’s the joy of life. But take one step at a time. Bell by bell. Find your new dwelling and hunker down with a cup of tea. Until that faint ringing stirs on the edge of the wind again . . .
Oh, and be sure to tell the mapmakers that your kingdom is bigger now.
7:30 BELLS Posts run every Tuesday.
7:30 BELLS Guest Posts run on the second Tuesday
of every month. Join me on October 14 for a guest post with
explorer/author Marc Calhoun.