One of my greatest musical memories elucidates the beauty, strength and communicative power of music as our most sovereign and simple of languages. About ten years ago, I went trekking with two of my best friends in the jungles of Northern Thailand, near Burma…We trekked precarious cliffside jungle trails before sunrise, napped in the incredible heat of the afternoon, and at night we made the final leg of our daily journey to a local Karen Hillside Tribe village deep in the forest…They welcomed us like family…We tried to communicate using signals, our hands, our eyes, trying to grasp at one another languages. We communicated how we could, and we did quite well, all things considered… And then singing. Like a million purposeful voices lifting with such joy and exuberance surely the stars could hear us…Our hands clasped, we danced, and we sang song after song. Beautiful pentatonic melodies…rang deep in me like I had sung them my whole life, printed somewhere in our common genes I suppose. We sang, and we danced, and the world spun wildly with us for what seemed like an entire beautiful lifetime. As we finally slowed, a young boy about 8 or 9 years old came forward…he came to me…took my hand looking me in the eyes and said, “You..” (gesturing to his mouth as if pulling words from it and then pointing at me) “You……” And he began to sing, “Country road, take me home…..” (With such piercing beauty and simplicity it haunts me to this day. His voice accompanied by crickets and our crackling fire.) And again he gestured and said “You…” now smiling at me. And I understood. I sang, slowly and reverently “To the place, I belong…” and from the hushed silence, a choir of quiet sacrosanct voices, rose to join me. (All, in a whisper) “West Virginia. Mountain Mama . . . take me home.” And on that beautiful spring night, with the stars and the moon, and the crickets, the heavens our only witness, together we sang that beautiful, simple John Denver song, and we sang it until our hearts went still.