We had a large group of bell ringers join us for a day of ringing recently. They traveled from Australia, England, Canada, and the US., primarily from the Boston – Cape Cod area.
We served soft drinks and snacks and provided a picnic lunch for all. These gatherings are an excellent opportunity for us to show Benedictine Hospitality while honing our bell-ringing skills. We also can share the fantastic ten change-ringing bells that we are so blessed to have.
Surrounded by a band of seasoned ringers is an excellent way to learn and to recognize our weaknesses. They are most helpful in teaching and instructing us and in a relaxed and accepting way set us straight when we get lost or out of rhythm.
I find these days very encouraging because no matter what level you are on, you can join in. Challenging sequences are made clearer, and you start to understand the inner workings of the method you are attempting. No question is stupid or unnecessary! You must put down your pride and jump in. Let others guide you when they notice you’re wandering out of sync with the band. Being open to instruction helps you learn faster. Listen and go with it! The only way to improve is to and stay in the discomfort of being lost and keep trying to get on track with the rest of the group. Isn’t this a perfect life lesson?!
Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be scared to step out and join something when you don’t feel confident. I guarantee that you will make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the process, perhaps the most essential part. You will hold up the group while you find your way, and in so doing, learn to trust them.
What I love most about ringing is watching the joy on the faces of people who love and are committed to what they’re doing. We’re part of an ancient and historic tradition, sacred and beautiful, and yet available to all who wish to participate.
Whatever new skill or activity appeals to you, be open and flexible. Take risks! Ask questions! It’s a journey worth taking!