Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ringing the Bell

About 4 years ago, I was in a little village called Bled in Slovenia.  It is famous for it's church on an island in the middle of a high mountain lake.  The village was poor, they were just switching to the Euro, and trying to become their own country again.  This ancient church was their claim to fame.  Handcrafted artisan wooden row boats with little canopies were available to rent. Wayne rowed three of us gals across.  It was surreal.  Tradition is that when couples get married in the church, the groom, if he is man enough carries the bride up these stairs.  There are a hundred plus!  We walked huffing and puffing to the top.  

One of the things on my bucket list was to pull on the rope that rang a church bell.  Surprised, I saw a rope hanging down in the middle of this centuries old church and wondered if this was my chance.  It seemed like such an unexpected gift.  A few other people tried to pull it, but it was locked!  Dead feeling.  I was really sad, because ever finding such an opportunity again would be hard.  One that was open to the public.  I was reconciled that at least I had touched it. 

About 20 minutes later from outside, I heard the bell singing and echoing over the lake, bouncing off the mountains.  Running as fast as these chubbly legs could carry me, I took my turn.  Didn't want to ever let go, couldn't hardly stop from pulling one more time.  It had a rhythm, flow that followed and was connected to the weight, like the rope sprang to life, waking up the sleeping bell.  It actually did sort of yawn a few times before it really got going.

Afterwards, I found a quiet secluded corner to let the tears of thanksgiving flow.  Couldn't really express to any of my travel partners what amazing thing had just happened.  Sometimes worship, like making love, is private.  I felt completely and  intimately cherished and loved. Known.   

More than a mark to check something off my 'bucket list' happened.  

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