I came home to Eugene from a whirlwind tour of Whole Foods stores in Northern California. I am always happy to come home to the quiet and peace of this green valley after the excitement and density of the large metropolis surrounding us. On arriving home I learned of a community tragedy, two of our Eugene Symphony players were killed in a tragic and senseless wreck on their way home from a rehearsal out of town. A young drunk driver who will probably never remember the actual event and yet will never have the same life again took the wrong side of the freeway. Eugene is a small city that takes great pride in our cultural arts. Anyone whose children play music knows symphony musicians. They teach in our schools and are the backbone of our private musical education. We all feel the loss here in our little community.
We also all share in the shock of sudden death and tragedy. We wake up again to the crack under all of our feet and realize that this life we live is a gift, a miracle that is so easily taken for granted. We never know when the last day is. We never know the last words we will speak to anyone. We never know the last smile we will exchange or the last hug. So no matter what your situation this Valentine’s Day, be grateful for the love in your life. Notice all of it and take the time to say the words that you feel out loud. Let the people you love know it and feel it. Write a beautiful card, even if it seems trite or hallmarked.
I believe that in the last moment of life, with our final breath, we remember love. So take this silenced music as a reminder of what matters most in this life and remember to say I love you as frequently as you can.