I hope these words don’t sound too boastful, but I believe my life is a splendid one. Of course, it’s the same splendor that exists in every person I pass in the grocery store, every shaft of sunshine, every shade of color on winter days, and every ripple in the Mystic River. This entire universe is an endless display of splendor, and since we’re all part of the universe, we all share in the splendor. Somehow, all over the earth, billions of lungs keep lifting and falling with splendid evenness, and hearts keep helping people and panthers and butterflies stay strong in splendid ways. Just the fact that I can carry my teacup to my lips is a magnificent accomplishment, given the countless nerves and muscles that must flawlessly function together in the process. When birds wander above the river, they do it with smoothness and majesty, and when the girl greets me at the grocery checkout, her smile is a miracle to me. All of us – people, small stones on the shore, flames in a winter fireplace – share in the splendor of this earth that somehow and miraculously became our home.