Growing up I could never understand the fascination behind having wind chimes. To me, they were noisy, unusual, and I always thought of them as something appealing to the over 65. But when we moved into our first home, starting a chapter as husband and wife, the previous owners left a small set of wind chimes hanging from the tree outside the master bedroom window. They aggravated me at first, but for whatever reason I never took them down.

Several years went by and Lily was born. My first child that never slept through the night until she was 14 months old. At 2:10 every morning she would wake for a feeding. It became routine to quickly feed her, rock her to sleep and then head back under the covers of my own bed. And each night, if there was any kind of breeze, I’d lie still and listen to the tinkling of the chimes I’d almost forgotten about. They were an odd comfort to me now.

Another three years passed and we moved into our new home. Another new baby. Another new chapter. And I was eager to leave the first chapter behind me.

I didn’t think of it immediately, but over the next few years I really missed those chimes and can’t tell you why I never purchased any for the new house. There was a strange sort of emptiness when I woke in the middle of the night. Silence. No chimes tinkling softly in the wind. No reminder of those nights of waking up to a baby in my arms. No reminder of those years starting our life together. A life I was so ready to leave behind for a fresh page. I don’t know why something so seemingly insignificant could cause such recollection to my days as a new wife and mom, but they did. And I missed them.

Ten years went by and we said goodbye to another home. This time, a move to another previously owned home. A home that really makes me feel like we are starting all over again. Another new chapter, with more of us in tow, to continue what we started.

Once again, several sets of wind chimes have been left behind, bringing me full circle to those days when we were just in the beginning. Two young kids, starting out without a clue to just how quickly life would pass by as our family grew.

Lessons are often unknowingly taught to us in the ebb and flow of our days, but it normally requires many of those days behind us to take shape into the picture we can’t see at the time. I’ve been one to cling to the years ahead and easily let go of what falls behind me. The wake in my rear view mirror often goes unnoticed as I wait for the next best thing. Off with the old and on with the new. A girl who prided herself on not needing such sentiments.

But as I listen to the tinkling of those chimes in the late night hours, long after children are tucked in bed and I savor a quiet house, that picture becomes evident. I see the beauty of the years behind me and all that He’s taught me since that first set of chimes.

We just never know what He’ll use to show us something we’ve forgotten. Or even something we never knew.

For me, it’s been wind chimes. What is it for you?