Recently renowned cellist, Yo Yo Ma, received his second vaccination at Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Vaccinated people waited in the gym for their 15-minute observation. Ma sat in front of a blue padded wall and played Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 and Ave Maria. At his playing, a hush fell over the area. Afterward, people applauded and Ma humbly bowed with his hand over his heart.

In a July 31 interview with The Washington Post’s Geoff Edgars, Ma says: “Our skin is our largest organ. During COVID our response to touch has been taken away. The sound of music moves air molecules across your skin. When air touches the hairs of your skin, that’s touch.” What an inspiration to see this famed musician, who has performed in great concert halls, out of a generous spirit, share his gift in a gymnasium with others! In his beautiful prayer, St. Francis said, “It is in giving that we receive.” Ma inspires us to give whatever gift we have, if but a kind word, or listening ear to light up a smile behind masks and bring a soulful peace.

Patricia F. Ladehoff, Woodstock