The vivid autumn colors fade and the leaves fall. My morning coffee warms me as I walk to class on frosty Michigan mornings. The backyard sunset shines not through the early summer evergreens to the west, but the southwest bare branches of the maple tree. The school year is no longer new; midterms are finished and semester projects are underway. The air is cool now, but my heart is ever warm and full with the love of my family and the good life I get to live immersed in music.

How amazing it is to zoom out and view the passage of time. Two years ago my first semester of doctoral studies kept me awake at night. One year ago our newborn daughter “helped” me burn the midnight oil. Now it is the work of completing my doctorate degree that keeps my wheels turning every day. One year from now I will be learning the ropes at a new job in a new community and giving everything I have to my new students and faculty colleagues.

What does the future hold? Nobody knows. What I do know is that right now I have an amazing family, brilliant teachers, the best colleagues anyone could ever have, and a life full of music and travel. Who could ask for anything more?