Today was a day I will remember for the rest of my life. Also my 32 birthday. Hearing the first bell ring out as I set to work tying the sisal rope on to the next slender handle caused my heart to leap with joy. It was the first time all the elements were coming together. Clay and wood and rope and cloth. Boughs of tree and breath of wind. I tied on the last canvas banners as Nathanael moved around the low hanging branches, leaving new tones in his wake. We cut and tied the rope, holding each bell aloft, fastening along the top of the thick boughs with a simple bow. The magical moment evolved and claimed us into it’s embrace. I felt as if I had entered into another realm, one where speech is not necessary, where to simply hear is to understand, the art of listening a joy to become competent at.
The breeze expressed her playful pleasure at having a new way of communicating with us and the tree that held it’s individual words. The language of sound enveloped us and as we completed our part, stepping back to allow the rest to unfold I was filled with a sense of contentment of the like I haven’t felt before. This was the work, this was the path, this was the joyful co creation I had been wanting to manifest for so long. My heart was fit to burst as I caught my beloved’s eyes. Words were not needed, we communicated silently in peaceful communion.
A number of visitors came and went. An Irish man told us the tree was a cherry and in spring the blossom was spectacular, it’s branches well used to avid young climbers with it’s gentle inclines. Another elderly Japanese woman told us how she hadn’t seen such a thing since she was a small girl in Japan, saying prayers in the temple gardens where the trees were laden with similar but smaller bells. It was beautiful to have facilitated such nostalgia.
The visual impact was a surprising element. The banners spun and flailed and from a distance seemed to flicker in and out of existence. Up close the bright white reflected the sun onto the low hanging bells, causing the surface to sheen and sparkle. The dark bark was also lit up sending flashes up the shadowy side of the trunk. The cherry seemed to undulate with pride as she displayed her new clay baubles. The effect was otherworldly and mesmerizing and there was a constant murmur of surprise from the onlookers passing through the busy little car park nearby. Eyes blinking to try and understand what was being presented.
The sun passed behind a thick band of rain cloud and the wind dropped. The atmosphere was suddenly more eerie and the banners now hung more solemnly, the odd one catching what little breeze was left to raise a solitary, mournful note fading through into a low resonant vibration. The temperature dropped suddenly and as our attempts to capture a soundtrack were met with mostly silence we decided to call it a day. Our numb hands untied and lowered down the brave performers before they were snuggled up between layers of yoga matts and cushioned by grandmas blanket.
We realised we hadn’t eaten all day, the glorious wonder of a vision coming to fruition had sustained us completely. Not to say I didn’t relish the feast we enjoyed later on to mark the double celebration of my own birth and that of The BellTree.