My comfort, my sense of inclusion in the small universe I inhabited, came from an appreciation of, a participation in, all that I saw, smelled, tasted, and heard. That sense of inclusion not only assuaged my sense of loneliness as a child, it confirmed my imagination. And it is that single thing, the power of the human imagination to extrapolate from an odd handful of things--faint movement in a copse of trees, a wingbeat, the damp cold of field stones at night--the human ability to make from all this a pattern, to compose a story out of it, that fixed in me a sense of hope.

Barry Lopez, A Literature of Place