I woke with a start in the darkest of the night. Loud winds whirled and whipped around near the moonlight. Listening, I could hear the banging of chimes, their brass pipes sparring against air like a fight, like a war.
Usually, before winter comes my favorite wind chimes are lifted carefully from summer branch homes to be stored away till spring. One had been forgotten somehow. Lonely, it hung in the cold, in this snowy weather now.
While lying in bed, I knew which one sung its mad song to me. It was the last gift my mother sent on my birthday the year she died. It was the one with the red cardinal on top that reminded her of me, of St. Louis, you see.
The wind swirled, the brass tubes wrestled, furniture tipped, and new snow swept. The war of the chimes against nature created an analogy of the fight my mother had on her last day of life. While laying there, that’s what I thought of, the fight between life force and what lies next.
On my mother’s last day the chimes played the way she would have wanted. A variety of them hung outside the screen door of her home. The winds were blustery. She loved them all, the different sounds and melodies they played, the twinkling of the brass tubes against one another when the breezes blew this way or that.
It was nearing the end, but only God knew exactly when. The winds were especially gusty, blowing and brisk. As though He had a hidden message that soon she would be in heaven to breathe freely. For on earth it was such a fight for her, like the war waging outside my house last night.
My family prayed by my mother’s side while listening to different songs of chimes blowing in the wind. Like messages from God sent from above, each one had a different tune. We listened to lyrical music, there for us to hear by ear. They were signs that Mother would be hearing them forever soon and be at peace.
My mother’s death was several years ago, yet it is still so fresh in my heart and mind. Today I will take the gift of my cardinal wind chimes from the snowy branch down to be safe. I will place them inside my home, warm and safe. Soon spring will come. The cardinal chimes will be pulled out again to be placed on a waiting branch for the sun to shine down from Heaven above.
My mother will see them there. My mother will know.