Editorial: A High Note

This has been an emotional week for many.  Monday brought with it our annual opportunity to support our federal and state governments by filing our taxes. Despite knowing this event occurs every year at this time, many seem to wait until the last possible moment to complete their taxes. As we stood in line for 30-minutes at the post office, we vowed (yet, again) that next year we would complete them sooner!

Later that day word began to emerge that a fire had started at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

At first the news reports of the fire were subdued, however that quickly changed. The fire spread rapidly, and the images broadcast around the world showed the famed cathedral engulfed. There was on-air concern that the entire structure could be lost. When the wooden spire that was covered in lead dramatically teetered and then fell into the nave of the church concern turned to certainty.

It was hard to imagine the cathedral whose corner stone was laid in 1163 (though not completed until 1345 nearly 200 years later) could vanish, literally, before our eyes as we watched the news coverage.

So many of us have been to Paris that we feel we have a connection. Greenwich’s own Craig Stapleton is the former U.S. ambassador to France. To watch this incredible symbol of Christianity and history being destroyed left many with an aching, anxious feeling.    

Social media was flooded with people sharing media feeds of the fire in real time. There were expressions of horror and grief.  In the midst of this trauma, a calming voice emerged. The Rev’d Marek Zabriskie, Rector of Christ Church Greenwich (and a former newspaper reporter) shared his feelings about the unfolding disaster. We published his comments immediately on our social media platforms and you will find an expanded version in the paper this week. We appreciate his thoughtfulness and grace.

In the midst of the news reporting that ultimately the majority of the cathedral would not fall and that many of the relics had been saved or found, even the Rooster weather vane which is alleged to have within it one of the thorns from the crown of Christ – we noted that April 15 is historic for other reasons. It was the day in 1865 that President Abraham Lincoln died and in 1912 the Titanic sank. Now, we believe it will also be known as the day an heroic effort saved much of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The next day, many attended the first ever performance of the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Palace Theatre in Stamford. It was in honor of the late Lloyd Hull; a hero, gentleman, and inspiration to all who knew him, with proceeds going to the Young Artist Philharmonic in Fairfield and Westchester counties.

The performance was exceptional. The opening notes of Beethoven’s Overture, Egmont, Op. 84 began to float over our heads and we were transported away from thoughts of Monday’s Notre Dame fire. Every stage of this powerfully dramatic overture is impassioned and seemed to literally be moving us forward to an as yet unknowing ending. The audience could see the notes rolling from the back of the orchestra to the front as the bows of the various instruments brought the music forward until the entire theatre was engulfed. It was enthralling and the rest of the evening equally exceptional.

Perhaps the Beethoven overture is best representative of this week. It seems to be preparing us for something as it works its way to its conclusion, which is often described as “ecstatic.” This weekend Passover and Easter coincide. Happy occasions for all who celebrate these holidays. Houses of worship will be filled, and tables will be set for festive meals. It is a time for family and friends to come together, to celebrate our religious traditions and enjoy one another.

From our family to yours, we wish you all a joyous Passover and wonderful Easter and the hope that your week ends on an ecstatic high note.