Monday, March 7, 2011

Changes, Wind and Chimes

I got an apartment my sophomore year of college with a tall, long haired strawberry blonde. She liked sparkles, laughed a lot, and claimed to read minds. She also bought me a set of wind chimes, rusty metal hearts with little bells attached. I still have them and feel inordinately proud of that fact. They hang on the pine tree beside my back deck.

I bought two matching sets of silver chimes, one bigger, one smaller, the metal round and hollow like reeds, each sound a higher or lower echo of the other. I placed them on either side of the heart chimes on broken pine branches just off the deck.

I worked for years with a woman who drove me crazy. When she was finally moving on she offered a set of chimes up to anyone in the office, black, wood and gold. I took them immediately, knowing it would be so much sweeter to remember her with chimes when she was always such a stubbornly flat note in my real life. They hang on that same tree.

After our daughter was born we moved up to the attic. When you get to the top of the stairs there are two corner windows looking out on the backyard. Looking over that pine tree. It felt so different to be climbing stairs every night for the first time since we moved in, sleeping in a brand new bedroom with a brand new baby. But the wind chimes always sounded in the wind. The same wind chimes we listened to all last summer, and the summer before. The constancy is comforting.

I always see snow out those corner windows when I ascend the stairs. It's been there since we first started sleeping in the room; it seems as if it will always be there. But the sound of the wind chimes is also a reminder that spring will come, and then summer. Change will keep coming, too.

I found out in the past week that my job -indeed my whole program- will likely be eliminated in the next federal budget. I've had my head and heart lost in my babies and really haven't begun to wrap my head around everything this means. I do know that it means some very big changes are ahead. Again. But I can't help but feel that the wind will keep blowing, summer or winter, and that those chimes will somehow continue to play.

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