ave maria di lourdes

I’m convinced that you can relive memories through your senses more accurately than flipping through a photo album.

When our kids are asked what they remember most about our summer trip to Italy, they often say the taste of rich gelato. More recently, my daughter mentions the memory and sound of bells chiming from church towers.

I know exactly what day she is remembering. We were staying in the hills just south of Florence taking a walk overlooking the olive trees surrounding our apartment.

A nearby church tower began chiming. Then another joined in from farther away. And another. They played off each other and continued for a good five or ten minutes. The bell chimes bounced off the distant hills and filled the air. This chorus of bells against a backdrop of silence stopped us in our tracks as we listened. When my husband and I lived in Italy, the sounds of church bells were an everyday occurrence – we hardly noticed some days. But on that day it was a beautiful and memorable shared experience between mother and daughter.

My daughter’s memory reminds me that I do miss the church bells. I don’t hear them at home. When we lived in Italy,  the local town church chimed an unfogettable and beautiful song only on Sundays. So over the years, I’d often sit on our balcony high up on the hill and listen. I knew I could count on hearing it each week. My mother recognized the song as “Ave Maria di Lourdes” because she listened to it as a child growing up in Germany. To confirm it was the song, I found a version on youtube.  Take a listen and perhaps it will take you back to a country or time that is special to you.

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2 responses to “ave maria di lourdes

  1. Monique, I love the sound of church bells. When I hear them, it always reminds me of when I was a child and they would ring in the small town I grew up in on the east coast. Where I live in Los Angeles, there is a small church nearby and at noon every day, they ring the church bells. At Christmas time they chime out Christmas carols. That sounds always makes me happy.

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