We were there for the annual performance of Beethoven's 9th symphony. It's a great piece, and performing it this year was even more special than the first time around. The text is called "Ode to Joy". I better appreciate moments of joy now that I know what despair feels like. So, I sat onstage on a perfect late summer afternoon gazing over the orchestra and out on the crowd, enjoying a beautiful piece of music led by an excellent conductor. The chorus doesn't sing until the fourth movement, and I thought of my boys as I listened to the first three movements. The little one in my belly, who listened quietly sometimes and danced around at others. Taison, who I couldn't quite see but I knew was out on the lawn being the proud spouse ("Oh yes, my wife's in the chorus.") And Julian, who's spirit is always with us. I feel closest to him in quiet moments when I'm enjoying nature or music, even if it's just a pretty afternoon sky on my walk home from work.