Quarter Peal

This year we decided to usher in The Vigil of the Nativity (Christmas Eve) with a Quarter Peal of Plain Bob Triples. Suffice it to say that a quarter peal is about one hour of non-stop ringing with no repeated patterns (the bells – in this case eight – regularly change their order). Before any type of Peal is rung it is publicized as an “attempt.”

As with team sports, bell ringing is no exception to the precarious and unpredictable nature of teamwork. Is bell ringing a microcosm of life? I (and I suspect others) approached the quarter peal with the usual mantra of, “I’ve got to get this right” and, “everything depends upon me so don’t mess up.” As we progressed into the peal, we realized teamwork was essential, so this mantra was transformed to, “we’ve got to get this right” or, “everything depends on helping each other.” With mutual encouraging looks and confident verbal corrections from our Conductor, we managed to correct many wrong turns and bring our ship safely into harbor.

At the close of our Quarter Peal, we all heaved a sigh of relief that our “attempt” became a reality. No matter how many times we were on the brink of collectively losing our path, we had made it through to the end.

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