Seeing is believing, so we’re told. This afternoon while I was out in Billericay, I was admiring the spring flowers in people’s front gardens when I spotted the red tulip in the photo. I suddenly remembered seeing some very special tulips in a neighbour’s garden many years ago. I can’t remember the colour of the tulips – that wasn’t what made them remarkable. I can still recall them, because they were musical tulips. They didn’t actually play tunes, they simply tinkled like bells whenever the wind blew. My friend and I were fascinated by flowers which chimed when the wind blew and their heads nodded, and were silent when they were still. We stood looking over our neighbour’s fence for quite some time. I think we were about seven years old at the time – too old to believe in fairies or musical flowers but how could we believe otherwise? The proof was there, right in front of our eyes, and after all, seeing is believing.
And the following day when we returned, the tulips still rang when the wind blew.
I don’t know what first drew our attention to the wind chimes in our neighbour’s porch, nor how long it took us to work out that when the wind blew, not only did the tulips nod but the wind chimes tinkled too. It was a relief to know the truth, but at the same time, such a disappointment. Ah, the innocence of childhood!