Every time I go over a bump in the road there is the sound of zils. The tambourine in the back of the car surrounded by other percussion instruments has been sitting in a bucket all week. The tambourine is such a happy instrument and heralds celebration to me. It gives a real energy boost to any soundtrack. The tambourine is rebellious and refuses to be silent when I go over a bump in the road.
I love the joy and openness that a tambourine offers – everyone can play it and everyone recognises the sound. You may even have your favourite tambourine song (I love the tambourine in Jet’s If You Want to be my Girl).
I am reminded of Miriam from the Old Testament. Aaron’s sister who grabbed her tambourine and all the women followed her across the parted Red Sea dancing. Miriam the prophetess ready and willing confidently showed how she could lead and move people to a new place. It is a really exciting and challenging call and a wonderful image of women leading a community to a new land. The tambourine is an invitation to a future of possibilities.
Each jingle and each jangle invites a new song to accompany us on the journey, over whatever Red Sea has been parted for you to dance through. I am going to keep the tambourine in the car for a bit longer so that my journey can be accompanied by that soundtrack and invitation from Miriam.
Hildegard you were one the Miriams of your time! Your music heralded a future to take us all time and time again to new places. In our time I do wonder sometimes who are the women who lead us to new places and where might I find the tambourines shaking?
There is a whole lot of shaking going on right now in Australia. Fear is the currency not courage; there has been a race to the bottom in politics and Aussies feel that they are about to be on a fiscal precipice and in fact we are amongst the most affluent in the world.
The season has turned to spring, but there are many hearts who have turned to the stone cold of winter and I grieve that very soon Jadis, the White Witch of Narnia will be making her home here for at least the next three years. The White Witch is the complete antithesis of Miriam.
Miriam was Moses’ older sister and her young brother Aaron was the priest of the family – a fascinating trinity. It is claimed that Miriam means bitterness and also rebellion. The bitterness meaning gives way to the rebellion meaning. Firstly, Miriam was sad and bitter about the suffering of her people and from that place got the vision and courage to teach the women and lead her people across the parted waters. She helped with the rebellion against the sadness and despair of her enslaved people. She helped them get their tambourines ready and to give them a good shake. I can only imagine what a call to arms that might have been in that rebellion!
So as I feel sad and at times despairing as I will no doubt feel from time to time as, The White Witch comes to live in my Narnia, I will keep the tambourine in my car so that with every jingle, jangle, I will be invited to rebellion.