Some of my very best years were ones where material and money were sparse, where I often sat alone, scantily sheltered within a screened-in porch under a cold light rain, nestled in a shabby hooded sweatshirt, with a cheap plastic mug of steaming green tea with lemon, listening to the rain patter on a crumpled tin roof above the tattered porch with its puddled and ragged green turf outdoor carpeting, soaring in the heights of some classic novel or other, my cat asleep on the railing, the brain at once settled in supreme calmness and yet alive with the fervor and crackle of an active mind. There was nothing of opulence, nothing of social achievement, nothing to prove, nothing to win, nowhere else to be. It is such recollections that remind me that the best of this life is readily accessible to us, waiting only for a pause, a break, a deep breath.