The Ring

The Ring.


The ring was distinct, the edges were clear.  Round in the most normal of ways but specific in its own thickness.  The ring was the result of time and the forces that formed it.  Like others that had come before, it was natural and obvious in its growth and development, but larger this time.  Not exactly a copy, but a continuation of those that had come before. This ring had variations that were the result of the forces that made it, individual and singular. 

The one that formed the ring would know of the details and the struggles and the time needed to complete it.  And time moved on.  The ring would show the evidence of all that was a part of that time but would be silent about it.  The evidence would show in a time yet unknown.  Many more rings would be formed before that day. The number can matter, but not to each ring. Each is a record of that which went into the form and size.  The dryness or lush times that are told.  The times of fire and times of cold that endured long past the normal. Each ring would tell a story but not the same one.

The total number of rings will show a pattern, developed over time, but that is a tale that is different than each ring could tell on its own.  Interestingly, we do the same.  We can tell of the time that a car crash changed us, if only to give us a funny tale of a snowy parking lot.  The ring will do the same, but from a different perspective.  If we understand the tale as a story of a moment in time, we can see it also in the ring.  A moment of time that changed the story, left a mark and a memory. It didn’t kill the tree, it was far too large for that, but left a mark it did.

 The sound was distinct.  The tone pure and the vibrations meaningful.  The ring came, then came again.  The ring made only one sound, but the sound was clear. The sound was consistent. The bell rings as only a bell can. The tone of the church bell in the tower calling people to worship. Or perhaps it is the collection of bells in the bell choir that plays a song in a manner that only a bell choir can. Each in the time and the note that is needed to continue the message of continuity and purpose. Of practice and precision.  Some played many times and some only a few, but all are needed.  You know when one is missing.  There is a sound of the “un-rung bell”. A sound so obvious as to move you to find a way to complete the missing tone, if only in a complimentary note that has the same resonance but is a different key.

To know the tone of the bell that rings in your heart is to know the place of peace.  To work in the place that is full, and the task is not labor but joy.  To find the sound of the ring in the eye of your companions in an undertaking of merit is the stuff of memories for years.  To go on a trip with mates that sing in the same manner but with different voices, all needed to complete the song of the journey’s adventures. I have walked into a room and have seen the slow vibrations of a bell that has rung in times past, and yet still vibrates from the action.  To meet their eyes is to know that they know of the ring in their ears, and yet also their soul.

I have spoken to them of the ringing of their history, and they knew I knew.  Some were afraid, as they were not ready for the story of the ring.  Some were content to tell of the actions that made the vibrations.  Some were broken and the sound not as it was before.  Some will still wait to tell of the day that it happened.  That is fine, perhaps another will be the one to hear their music as they play.

The ring of each bell is its own, so is mine.  So is yours.  We are players in a symphony that needs us.  We may be used often and perhaps not but once.  It simply is important to play when called upon, and silent when not.  There is no control over your tone, it was not made by you.  It was made for you.  To learn that is to then be free to play.  To know that you are part of a larger story is to know that others are called into that story as well.  Let them play.  From our place it may seem like bad timing and dissonance, but we are not the maestro that organized the arrangement.  We are participants, not more than any other, just important to the whole.

 The ring was old. It had been worn down over time.  While it was of value for more than its mettle, the metal was worth a value as well.  The ring had been through time.  Distinct and specific, the stories were there as well.  To be told today and not tomorrow, or perhaps the reverse.  Stories that covered the span of time and experience, joy and heartache.  Stories of fun and some of sorrow.  It is the same with each of us.  Some more and some less, but still the same. 

 Johnny Cash sang of the ring of fire, and so that comes as well.  The fires that consume and the fires that renew.  We see the trees that are burned and sometimes we see the trees that come from the pinecones that are opened only by the heat of those fires.  Sometimes we cut the trees down before they fall, and then we count the rings.  The thick ones from the easy years with lots of moisture and warmth which makes for easy growing.  Some rings that come, and these we can count quickly due to years of no moisture and hard times. They all are part of the story of our lives. The change in the pattern of the rings comes from damage that occurs, like a car that lost control and hits us.  Or the fire that scorched.  They are all there. All.

 We don’t always tell of each of the rings.  But to some we tell of one story and to another a different one.  That is as it is.  One ring may sound the call of a meal or a time to worship.  One ring will tell of the only note we have.  To play and then to wait until it is time to play again… wondering if we are to be called upon to sound our specific ring. Waiting on the maestro to show us the next movement. We sit in meetings and we watch others sound their sounds.  Perhaps there is one that is waiting on us to ring a sound that is true, and we are unaware until it comes out.  This is that which is our call.  To play the tune in us for the benefit of others.  The ring that you wear has the memories of its wearing.  The one in the tree is the same, but it is a story of the growth from small to large, young to old.  The ring of the bell is of but one tone, the same as the tree is of only one kind but the ring on your hand is the companion that follows the time and the type and the life that you have lived.  It is constant, but only the one that you have had.  To others it is theirs, perhaps complimentary perhaps even the same true ring, but still singular.  

You are both at the same time, captured by the last.  You are a group of memories that build upon the last. A timeline of that story, as only one tree can be and never changing from that mighty oak or palm.  So too, your tone and timbre is distinct as only a bell can ring. Unchanging in size and the tone it makes for ever and on.  The sound is made to be heard, if only by the birds with their own sounds returning.  The ring of your hand is both.  A collector of memories and a singular unchanging shape. Gold or silver, platinum or pewter, it is your companion through time.  A reminder by the simple act of looking and thinking of times and sounds. This is your story to tell.  Ring as only you can.



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