June 20, 2006

One of the great joys of summer here in New England is sitting out on a sun-washed deck or patio with family or friends, sipping an ice-cold Sam Adams, and listening to the sound of wind chimes mingle with the rustling of nearby trees full of their seasonal abundance. You may be in a quiet neighborhood or adjacent to a busy street, but either way, the gentle tinkling of wind chimes provides a quiet, restful interlude after even the most hustling and bustling of hectic workdays.

For some reason, I’ve always associated the sound of wind chimes with the oppressive breezes of a hazy, hot, and humid New England summer afternoon, but after living in Arizona for a few years, I’m amazed that we most often hear our wind chimes after it gets dark – maybe the cooling of the desert terrain and lack of moisture in the air causes the wind to come up at that time time of day, and it often lasts until after midnight.

Tracey and I have always been suckers for wind chimes – in fact (much to our neighbors’ chagrin, I might imagine) we have three different sets of chimes hanging over our patio – a small tinkling set of a dolphin motif given to us by our friend and neighbor Jana back when we lived in Louisville, a heavier, metallic set given as a housewarming gift by our realtor after we moved into our Arizona home, and a more traditional-looking set picked up in Kennebunkport, ME the better part of a decade ago – a set that has survived through icy winter blasts, numerous moves, and the blistering, super-heated breezes of an Arizona summer.

I’m not the first person to sing the praises of wind chimes – in fact, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks penned a tribute to them, intending them to be part of Brian’s conceived “Elements Suite” that was to be a crucial part of The Beach Boys’ abandoned, then resurrected SMiLE project:

Hanging down from my window
Those are my wind chimes
On the warm breeze the little bells
Tinkle like wind chimes
Though it’s hard I try not to look at my wind chimes
Now and then a tear rolls off my cheek

Close your eyes and lean back now listen to wind chimes
In the late afternoon you’re hung up on wind chimes
Though it’s hard I try not to look at my wind chimes

The next time you venture out onto your deck or patio, take a moment to listen for the sound of your own wind chimes and allow their quiet serenity and beauty to wash over your senses. If you don’t have any wind chimes, for God’s sake, do yourself a favor and go out and buy some! You’ll be pleased at the way their multi-sensual beauty beautifies even the most drab of surroundings, and you too will find their soft sounds providing a lift to your spirits.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:06 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. I’ve been through several sets of wind chimes but the ones I have now are gorgeous. There is not much correlation in the beauty of their sound and the beauty of their looks. I’ve had more expensive, magnificent chimes that don’t sound as good as the ones I have now. I prefer the pleasure to my ears over the pleasure to my eyes.

    Comment by Rob — June 21, 2006 @ 8:28 am


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