Severe weather advisories were in effect for days as March roared into the city with high winds. The morning the gale finally abated, I stood by the kitchen sink overlooking our terrace nook. Something was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I turned on the news and made coffee. As I poured myself a cup, it suddenly hit me. I peeked out the window. My arm froze midair… the wind chimes were gone! I leaned closer. The hook was bare, the chimes nowhere to be seen. I blamed their untimely disappearance on the wind gusts that had hammered the neighborhood all night.
I imagined the delicate chimes dinging as they spiraled away in the dark, cold night. The tinkling as they hit the scaffolding recently installed, before hitting the sidewalk fourteen floors below. I pictured the child picking them up, shaking them, shrieking with delight. The whimsical wind chimes would lift even his mother’s exhausted mood.
I told everyone about the vanishing chimes. How the delicate artwork from Asia had morphed into a traveling percussive instrument. How, although lost to us, they would bring joy to the world (ok, to Yorkville). I felt empowered in my new role as Lexington Avenue’s Good Samaritan.
A few days later, my heart sank when I spotted them. The chimes had never left our terrace. They did not ping nor ding. They lay, all tangled up, on the wooden bench, where the construction workers renovating our building’s façade had kindly put them.