Last Saturday I was at our local Spring Ring, where a number of bell groups get together to play en masse. It is an all day thing with rehearsals and workshops and a concert at the end. Years ago we did something similar with Christmas music called Twelfth Night. That one got pretty large and more and more expensive, until we finally quit going. Eventually it went by the wayside though, so when another church started this one in the Lenten season, we jumped at the chance to go. At one point we actually brought two groups, but many of our younger ringers from the second group have gone away, so it only happened that one time. It is a chance to learn some new music and play with master directors. In fact, much of our music is from one or another year, at least around Easter.
At the end, someone from the audience came up to greet me. I could not recall her name, but obviously sang with her in Masterworks. She said something that has stuck with me for the week at least, kind of like a burr since I found it a bit bothersome. She said something about how it was nice to see me doing what I love most of all. Okay, aside from why she would think that, I found it rather dumbfounding. Sure, I’ve been doing this a long time, since I was 12 actually. I like to think I’m pretty good at it. I certainly enjoy it, or I wouldn’t be still at it. But what is the most of all part about? I also sing and read and write. I’ve been doing those things since even before I took up bells. I’m not at all sure I could pick any one above the others. I am also passionate about Jesus and healing prayer, especially for inner healing, and Ashram. I used to be nuts about swimming as well, and still do it whenever possible, though by no means regularly. You see what I mean? We all have an assortment of interests. Usually we try to schedule them all in if at all possible, or we move back and forth between them as our interest waxes and wanes. So why would someone try to say any given one is above all the rest? In any case, I would hope that my love of Jesus would be supreme, though so far I have not been forced to pick and choose.
I do admit, of course, that bell people are a unique breed. We all have to be a little crazy to engage in playing an instrument which requires us to work together with a number of others to make it happen. And there is a lot of fetching and carrying, setting up and breaking down tables, at least if you ever go anywhere. In my case, there is also bell maintenance. I have over the years played with quite an assortment of people as well, many of whom are still my friends, even though they have moved away years ago. Still, I don’t think that fact alone makes bell playing the one thing I love over all else.
What about you? Do you have one thing you love more than everything else you do, or do you have a variety of interests?