I go in fits and starts with music. I can go ages without really listening to anything, and then I’ll become obsessed with a certain album or song for a while, and then drop it all again. The Animal Years came in the mail this week and I don’t want to stop listening to it. While standing in line at the coffee shop (wretch that I am) I want the line to move more quickly so I can get home and turn it on. I turn it on while I do the dishes and make macaroons (for the Other Easter Dinner at Di’s) and read. Have you listened to Girl in the War yet? Why not? Go.
Last night I was walking home from the Four Seasons when I heard one of my favorite sounds – bells ringing. Church bells. I adore the sound. I sometimes hear the bells on Sunday mornings, from the Catholic church around the corner. But it took me a second to remember last night that, aha, it’s the Other Easter. They rang for a good long time, which is always pleasing, but it got me thinking about how early they hold “midnight” mass. It was, oh, eight-thirty. I’m used to Easter bells at a more respectable time – the dead of night.
Instead of Easter bells today, we had the rustle of palms being spread on the floor during the Great Entry. And hot cross buns.
But back to those Easter bells – and the dead of night. Our church is on a good bit of property, but those bells carry. Especially at midnight.
One year, when the church calendar dictated that Orthodox Easter (Pascha) fall on a different day than Other Easter, we were new converts with strong arms and an enthusiasm for bell ringing, and the neighbors hadn’t gotten used to our ways. One neighbor became, apparently, alarmed by the noise. What would you do if bells started ringing at midnight? This neighbor called the police. Who sent an officer over to investigate. Who found a packed church with sleeping children on the floor and enough candles to constitute a fire hazard. Now, the neighbors are used to us, I suppose.
I can’t wait to sing myself slightly hoarse.
And, I don’t know if you’ve truly lived until you’ve directed a roomful of 1st & 2nd graders in re-enacting Lazarus being raised from the dead. And? Their ability to sit down and seriously discuss resurrection and the dual nature of Jesus (“It’s hard to understand,” says one) and the significance of riding on the foal of donkey constantly amazes me. And helps balance out the shrieking and running and so forth.