Dismay! Not long ago, I opened my blinds to find that my beautiful wind chimes were badly tangled and snarled after a heavy wind in the night. Four of the seven willowy strands of delicate silver, blue, and white discs were wrapped tightly around each other. And what had once been such a graceful elegance outside my window was now a knotted clump—at least part of it was. Several strands still dangled free, but that entangled clump made the whole most unattractive.
Not that the chimes themselves seemed to mind. They seemed to have enjoyed, in fact, their boisterous dance, raucously clashing against each other in their wild tango with the wind. And now, with calmer winds, the free strands continued to tap each other playfully, tinkling, as always, like stars that sing in the dead of night. They seemed unfazed by the tangled awkwardness of the knotted strands. In fact, even the knotted strands still tapped the others and sang along as best they could.
But I was not unfazed. Because the chimes are suspended high above our deck, quite beyond reach, I knew these lovelies would simply have to hang there, knotted and askew, their elegance and delicate charm now a mere memory. Always I had greeted these chimes each morning when I opened the blinds. I would smile at them. And they would smile back at me, gaily tapping their shy “how-do’s.” But now the joy of this simple morning ritual was gone, and my greetings became sporadic. Too disappointing to see their clumped-together-forever knottedness.
Imagine, then, the sharp intake of my breath some days later when I happened to glance up from a book I was reading and look out the window. My wind chimes were no longer tangled! Each dainty strand once again dangled free, twisting and twirling in the breeze, happily tapping out gentle melodies with all the other strands. Apparently a fresh, strong wind of the previous night had mysteriously blown in to undo the work of the earlier wind, and my chimes were restored. Elegant again. Free again. Swaying and sparkling and shimmering in the morning sun again.
And I had done nothing to bring this about. It was simply a gift, a beautiful gift from the wind:
- to remind me of how much of life is not under my control;
- to remind me of how often gifts of grace blow into my life, surprising me and giving me a simple joy;
- to remind me to keep my eyes and heart open so as not to miss a single one of these sudden delights.
Since that happy day of wind-gift, my chimes have, for the most part, dangled freely and cheerfully. But every now and again, a wind will take a fancy to them and lead them in another wild dance that leaves a couple of the strands wound tightly around each other. Not as unsightly as the first time when four strands had formed that clumsy cluster, but tangled nonetheless, and always a bit dismaying. I am learning, however—slowly, to be sure—but learning nonetheless:
- to accept this reality, this “brokenness” that mirrors so much of life in so many tangled, knotted places in our world;
- to wait for yet another wind-gift to undo its earlier mischief;
- to live in hope–hope not just for the next wind to free the tangles of my chimes, but hope for that one-day Great Wind which promises to untangle all the snarls of our earthly lives and set all of life free. Fully and finally free—to be all that Creator Wind intended for us to be.
Today the chimes serenely dangle in the quiet air. The sing a quiet calm, and I feel blessed.