Working in the garden, clearing the dying flowers and plants as dusk descends, the village bells told me it was time to stop. Seven times they rang, and then once again. And then lots of general clanging. The additional clanging is a twice a day thing at the 7 hour. Oh, and the noon hour, too. (Though not the midnight hour.)
Our village bells ring once at quarter past the hour, twice at half past, three times at quarter to. On the hour they ring out the time. Then again, in case you missed it or counted wrong the first time. (Which I often do.)
I love our village bells. They have a lovely tone. Deep enough that they don’t ring through you. Rather they are the perfect level to stay in the background. Unless I wish to know what time it is. Then, when the bells ring, I listen and count the bongs.
It’s surprising how I don’t hear them most of the time. It is an actual conscious thought to tune my ears and pay attention to what they are saying. They bong the time through the night as well, and even with windows opened (in summer) I don’t hear them. Unless I want to.
Being able to hear the time is a magical thing. A tradition that is slowly being lost as more and more people want to control their world into silence. I was told there used to be a canon bang to announce mid day. That must have been something. A true announcement for all to down tools and enjoy the days main repast.
The bells would have began life as the way for most to know what time it was as clocks were expensive and wrist watches were a thing of the future. And if you worked in the fields it was a great way to tell the time. Or in my case, working in the garden, a great way to tell me it’s time to go in and make dinner.
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Images of Village Life ~ enjoy a walk around our village on Flickr