Posted by: ktzefr | April 3, 2012

Holy Week Musings: Bells

“If your silence is deep enough, bells roll all the way through it.” ~ Pico Iyer

Every morning in San Miguel I woke up to the ringing of bells.   In this town of more than 80,000 people there are no stoplights or neon signs, but there are many beautiful old churches along its cobblestone streets.  Somewhere in the city church bells ring twenty-four hours a day.  So, no matter when you wake up — for a midnight snack or early-morning rising — you will wake up to bells.  Probably fireworks, too, as Mexicans are keen on fireworks with their fiestas, and there’s a fiesta almost every week.  But I didn’t mind the booms or the bells.  It was sort of like beginning every day with both a calm heart (the bells) and a celebratory mood (the blasts).

Have a listen to the bells of San Miguel…

The bell ringers here take their jobs seriously.  San Miguel’s parish church, Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel is a symbol of the town and one of the most original architectural achievements in Mexico.  The church was originally built in the 16th century, but the facade was renovated in the 19th century by a self-taught draftsman named Zeferino Gutierrez based on a postcard he’d seen of a French Gothic cathedral.  It’s pink sandstone with pointy bell towers are especially pretty at night when illuminated.

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel; Photo:KFawcett

Bells remind me of Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s Christmas classic, The Polar Express, about a magical train ride in which believing and listening for the ringing of the bell can help one get through the wolf-infested forests of reality.


Click HERE to see more posts and pictures for San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.


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