We went to the woods because I wanted Molly to play the cello deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if we could learn what it had to teach and not, when we came to die, to discover we had not lived.
She played obediently at first, placed her end pin carefully in the soft ground and balanced herself precariously on the folding chair we’d brought along.
Slowly, though, as she pulled her bow across the strings and the melancholy notes of Ashokan Farewell drifted through the trees, she stopped posing for the camera and began to play music.
Leaves rustled and the river gurgled against the rocks. A startled fisherman and his young son waved from a passing boat.
The sun lit a canopy of leaves.
Then, to our utter delight, an outspoken turkey joined in, and they carried on, cellist and bird, in a sweet duet that celebrated both the magic of moments and the achingly beautiful passage of time.