As I lay here awake in the middle of the night not sure how to shut off my mind as it races from one thought to another and stressing over issue after issue, I hear a faint noise in the background. Through the cracked window that lets the cool night air seep into my room, I hear the quiet, distant sound and gentle song of the wind chimes in my neighbor's yard.
My grandpa was a hard working, creative man...always gracing us with his newest creation. One such creation happened to be hand-made wind chimes that, until this summer, I have never thought about. As a child, my cousins, siblings and I grew up in grandma and grandpa's yard...playing, laughing, and growing all while those never-thought-about chimes sang in the background. It was just the sound of their house...like the never-sat-at table in the dining room, the always-present-containers of cookies on the counter, and the grandchildren's drawer with our own deck of cards. It just was what it was.
I noticed this summer a familiar sound when I sat outside with my boys...a sound I have never noticed before coming from a few feet away...the sound of wind chimes. My backyard became my sanctuary as the kids laughed and played until we crashed at night. I would sit on my patio furniture and soak in the giggles, the breeze, and the warmth of the summer sun...letting it calm my soul and ease my guard...if only for a moment. And the sound of those wind chimes never failed to wash over me, ease my tension and give me peace.
I'm not one to ask for help, cry on your shoulder, or complain about our circumstances. I usually hold my head high, my shoulders back, and carry a smile. But underneath, questions, concerns and knowledge from the past never really go away. A year is a long time. War changes people on both sides, and I wish I had the luxury of not knowing what I know. Quiet moments are often a curse instead of a luxury...except when I sit outside and listen to those chimes caress my soul and feel the breeze gently kiss my skin.
We've lived in this home for 5 years, and for the first time I've noticed that comforting once forgotten song of the ever-present wind chimes next door. I sit in my chair and am soothed by their gentle lullaby spurred by the delicate breeze. Maybe they've always been there. Maybe the wind blows and makes them sing even when I'm not outside. But maybe, just maybe, it's a grandpa trying to soothe a hurting granddaughter.
I wish I had my own wind chimes...chimes to become the background to my home...chimes that warm my heart...chimes that I'm certain sing for my grandpa...