I did what I do every day on my way to UVa grounds - that is, I cut through the hospital lobby. It's a fairly typical hospital lobby, with people from all ages and walks of life sitting in chairs, talking with each other, while waiting for any number of things that a person in a hospital lobby can await.
Today, when I walked in, someone was sitting at the piano, pounding out a jazz piece that I assumed was of the pianist's creation - with not much more than a melody and various jazzy chords underneath repeated in syncopated rhythm. The feeling in the room was different. I started looking more at the people around me only to realize they were all either talking about or looking towards the origin of the music.
As I walked past the piano, I noted the pianist - a young man not more than twenty, with his backpack on the ground next to him, playing his heart out. His playing drew people toward him, with smiles and visibly lighter moods.
Suddenly, as if I was given the gift of hearing and understanding, the melody rang out to a jazzy version of Happy (by Pharrell Williams).
Could it be that that song really has the power to bring happiness to a room? Or was it the pianist, who thought he would most like to spend his afternoon bringing a little joy through music?
It made my day.