"This was to be my last winter in school. If I had gotten the grant and been able to continue on as a postdoc, things might have turned out differently. But word had come down early that the positions planned had already been cut. It was November 18th--the day before my birthday. I'll never forget. On hearing the news, I climbed into my used-up Jeep and headed into the woods north of town. I took a rutted track not seen before and skidded my way down the rocky shoulder of a hill, gunning it when I had to... and sometimes more than I had to. And I came upon this place of ancient hardwoods and layered moss. The cooling engine ticked like crickets under the floorboards of my apartment. My jaw was set but my heart was empty. And I saw this one old tree and a pale light behind and I began to wonder about the world all over again. It had been standing here since before my dad had been born, I guessed. It had been busy doing tree things. And it didn't much care, I guessed, about tomorrow. But as dusk had gathered and there was a hint of fog rising above the water, it had become a gateway of sorts; a guardian to the glimmer beyond. For the first time in my life, I felt the demands of tomorrow take second position to the fortunes of now and for the first time in my life I decided to keep on going in spite of everything--to climb that wrinkled hill and walk into that ghostly light and to keep on going into the darkness of an unsuspecting night."