Where, pray tell, is that bell?

I remember as a wee nipper, scampering out from beneath the covers, up under the bright curtains and crouching at the edge of my bed, elbows on the sill, thrilling to the joyful chime coming through my window.

Looking up into the boundless perfection of that flawless morning, the firmament was a gigantic deep blue crystal ringing in harmony with the little bell of that tiny Howick church the Fencibles had long ago built down the road.

I don’t remember when life became such that its gleaming call to the faithful became a wakeful nuisance; an offence to sullen heathen.

I missed the day when fell silent its weekly peel that crossed the village stillness of my childhood Sundays. I can’t say whence, hearts that once rang to their Saviour’s unction to love their neighbour as purely as rang that bell, did succumb to the deadening guile of television, consumerism, celebrity, media, politicians, public relations, science and the lie.

Neither can I pinpoint the shameful hour hearts did fall to fear such that they now have learned to haughtily divide brothers and sisters into the vaxxed and unvaxxed: friend and foe. Was it at the ceasing of that bell?

Rees Sutcliffe,
East Tamaki Heights