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Monday, June 8, 2009

Basilica bells

I live in the Upper Midwest, the Twin Cities to be exact, and on occasion I can hear church bells pealing.  Not a recording of bells playing hymns (on different carillons no less):, but bells in real towers with ropes and someone pulling them from below.  When they get going, it's a joyful racket! 
Today was a lucky day in Minneapolis.  I was downtown and getting ready to leave when I started to hear them.  The irregular rhythm of larger bells oscillating slower than smaller bells.  It always causes me to pause and breathe -- to take note of what's around me.  In reflection, I imagine my European ancestors did the same and looked forward to the ringing of the bells as a means of telling time. 
Although today was a dreary wet day (and I'm not complaining -- we need the rain) hearing this peal added a little sunshine to my day.  At least it reminded me of the first time I had heard the bells of the Basilica.  It was in the Sculpture Garden a couple of years ago with a colleague of mine.  It was a warm sunny May day and late afternoon.  Even from across the highway its message was clear.  "Stop and smell the roses."

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