I joined all of you here in February of 2005; and
in just a few short years that have sped right by me
-- I've been given the wonderful gift of so many good
friends; a great big extended family of decent, talented,
hard-working, caring individuals who are now with me
every single day of my life.
To say this has profoundly influenced my life would
be understatement. Without all of you, your help
and your encouragement, I know I would not be writing
the music I do. And I have built friendships and
relationships here that I know will accompany me in
my journey across the years to come... a source of
deep gratitude and comfort.
But the most miraculous thing, to me, is the community
itself. This is a unique place in troubled times,
with its peaceful cooperation among so many individuals.
We come from all corners, espouse widely varied beliefs
and politics, practice broadly different musical
disciplines, spring from every part of society, and yet...
We coexist in peace and harmony and civility; steadfastly
working toward productive, worthwhile ends.
Watching this, being a part of it, has led me to a wish,
one I think is particularly appropriate to this season.
I wish that we all will take this into our daily lives;
our tolerance, our peacefulness, our willingness to
help, our civility, our sense of community -- and make
it not the exception but our constant habit to learn to
extend our hands and hearts to all, both those we love
and those we've never met.
And most of all, I wish for... Peace.
May I hope that all of you, my friends, will join me in
Merry Christmas, my friends, and my love to all of you.