My children gave me a wind chime for Christmas. The ash wood clapper gives it a gentle voice, yet inside the house, when the furnace pauses to catch its breath, I can hear it even above the ticking of the clocks. The sail is shaped like an alder or birch leaf. I sat in my reading chair on the last day of the year watching leaf shadow flutter over the window blinds and listening to my chime speak softly to the wind.
For decades I have welcomed each new year with clanging bells, banging pots, blowing horns and shouts of jubilation, but when the hullabaloo is over, this gentle timbre of wind-tuned ringing is how I mean to go on.