Ringing in the Rain, Together

You’ve no doubt heard that age-old adage: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, we’ve now made our own. When life gives you rain, make it ring – and that’s exactly what we did this New Year’s Day. With drenching conditions across Washington, D.C. for the third annual National Bell Festival, we were sure folks wouldn’t want to venture out into the damp to hear the music cascade from on high. We were wrong. 

Festivalgoers were bursting to get out and hear the bells ring in the New Year. We welcomed hundreds at bell ringing sites across the District (all outdoors, socially distanced, and masked when near others, of course) and still more at bell concerts and recitals across the country. Perhaps folks were feeling anxious for some fresh air after being cooped-up for two years, but it warmed our hearts to see communities come together again. 

The National Bell Festival is all about community – and what is community but a group of folks who can share experiences, learn from one another, and laugh together. This year at the National Bell Festival, we learned a group of nuns isn’t called a gaggle of nuns, as we had hoped. Rather, one more correctly says a *superfluity* of nuns.

Either way, these ladies (pictured) made our day. The sisters bundled-up (with #BellFest beanies, to boot!) on the steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to hear Dr. Grogan’s recital on the 56 bells of the Knights’ Tower carillon. The embodiment of joy, gratitude, and kindness, these sisters were a testament to their calling and a bit of sunshine in the drizzly weather.

Bells have a way of calling people together and lifting their spirits up, and after the stresses and isolation of these last couple years, that’s exactly what the National Bell Festival did this New Year’s Day. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and wondrous year ahead!