Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Sweet Sounds of Bells


Bells are one of those instruments that are both universal and versatile.  They are everywhere, from a remote temple in Nepal to a fashionable hotel front desk.  We use them for the most sacred purpose of celebrating God's glory in church music to the most mundane activity of keeping track of our cows.  In the US, our most iconic bell is the Liberty Bell.  You can learn more about our Liberty Bell at http://www.nps.gov/inde/liberty-bell-center.htm The Liberty Bell was first rung on July 8, 1776, from the tower of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, calling the citizens to come out and hear the first public reading of the United States' Declaration of Independence. 


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Bell

Bells at Cedarmere Farm

I am obsessed with bells (my best friend from college reminded me that this obsession is not new -- it just manifests itself in a different form now!).  I buy them whenever I see something interesting.  I have bells everywhere at our farm, some out in the garden, some inside the house.  All of them had a practical purpose at some point, but they are now mostly decorative in my hands.

The bell below probably came from a church or an old school.  I could use this bell to summon my family from their various activities out in the field or woods (I did try, but they ignored my summons - oh well! so there it is, sitting pretty!).



I strung a bunch of old cow bells together and draped them over the handle to my side door so that when one of my children went outside, I would be alerted to their escape (that was many moons ago).  Now the bells' soft sounds make me smile whenever someone opens the door.



This birdbath is not only visually soothing, but it also resonates happy sounds when the wind gently passes by while the birds flap their wings joyfully in the water.


This strand of tiny bells (smaller than my fist, and I have a very small fist) is a great find.  I can't remember where I got these elaborately-carved heavy-duty bronze bells from.  They are now hanging off the rafters of our rustic garden gazebo.  They are also at one of the most windy parts of our farm.  When the wind blows hard, all these little bells create a warm, gentle, and slow melody.  From their sounds and the markings on each bell, I am guessing they originated from an ancient temple (I am totally guessing, don't hold me to it!).





This little bell sounds more like a gong, although it is quite small.  The metal is very thick and the clapper is made of the same heavy metal.  It's quite elaborately carved, but the details have suffered over the years.  I don't know what its original purpose was and where it was made.  Because it's quite heavy, the wind can hardly ring it.





This post is dedicated to the memory of Barry.  Barry was one of the original creators of the Friday My Town Shoot Out blog.  From the comments I've read about Barry, he was dearly loved by a group of 600 or so blog friends. Barry lost his battle to cancer a few years ago.  This week's FMTSO theme is bells in memory of Barry because there is a bell outside the hospital where Barry received his chemotherapy that patients would ring in celebration of completing a round of chemotherapy.  And when Barry rang his bell, his friends from all over the globe would ring it with him in their own countries.  Please go to Friday My Town Shoot Out to read more about Barry.




I am linking to Mosaic Monday because I think bloggers there would be interested in knowing about Barry, too.




24 comments:

  1. Christa...As a child, our daughter was a bell collector. We always enjoyed finding just the perfect bell as a souvenir of places we visited. Enjoy your bells...they add a lovely sound to any environment! Especially like your birdbath! Smiles...Susan

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    1. It's so much easier to buy things for your kids when they collect something special. I love that birdbath. It's such a neat combination.

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  2. what a lovely collection of bells. I had some bells and wind chimes on my patio, but had to keep taking them down at night when the wind blew as they kept us awake LOL When I was at primary school we had a bell which came off one of the first ships that came to Western Australia. Have a lovely week. I am joining you through Mosaic Monday.

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    1. Hi Jill, I hope that bell is still at your primary school. Can you find a different place for your bells and wind chimes? They make such sweet sounds.

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  3. A lovely and interesting post and I enjoyed seeing all the bells you have collected. There is a group of women bell ringers (I can't recall the actual name they go by) in our area and they perform at events. I've seen them twice so far at Christmas and what an extraordinary performance they put on. The bells seem to range in size from large and heavy for bass notes to quite small ones for tinkling high notes.

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    1. Our church has a group of women bell ringers too. They perform only once a year. I am always fascinated by the music that those bells make.

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  4. What a lovely collection of bells.. I have some bell chimes on my deck. I love the sound.. Your bird bath is really neat.. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your week!

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    1. Hi Eileen, I love that bell birdbath. The moment I saw, I knew it was the right thing to take home with me. Have a nice week. Christa

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  5. I loved this post. I have several bells outside too. I have shown them at different time on FSO. I love your mosaic. I may need new shots of my bells. Love the bird bath especially.

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    1. Hi Peggy, I would love to see all of your bells. Would you post them again?

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  6. A very nice and touching post. I love all your bells and how interesting to have all the different sounds that reminds you of different things - past and present.
    Have a lovely week!
    xoxo Ingrid

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    1. Hi Ingrid, thank you. Bells are timeless, aren't they?

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  7. I'll bet your bells sound pretty! Nice pictures... sad about Barry.

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  8. how wonderful, all your bells. Must be really beautiful when you get high winds blowing. thank you for sharing with us.

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    1. Hi Ginger, yes, it's great fun to hear the bells and the birds at the same time.

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  9. This topic was made for you, wasn't it? Love all your bells, makes me want to have a couple for myself, I can just imagine that birdbath in my garden.

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    1. Yes it was! I have to admit, I didn't realize how special my bells actually were until I started writing about them.

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  10. What a wonderful post. Bells are enchanting; there's something other-worldly about them, I think. Barry would be pleased with this tribute.

    I also want to thank you for the comment you put on my post about marriage and compromise. I enjoyed hearing your story about the farm and about how you love it.

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    1. Hi Lorrie, yes, there is something other-worldly about bells.

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  11. A belle of a story. Wonderful post.

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    1. Hi Joan, I like your expression! It made me smile.

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  12. I really like that birdbath! This was a fun post about bells and a lovely way to remember Barry.

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    1. Hi EG, I think whoever came up with the design for the birdbath was very creative.

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