When I was six months old, my parents took my maternal grandmother and me to a small cottage—a shack really—that sat on the shore of a great salt pond on Martha’s Vineyard. The full range of sensory experiences from that time and other visits there were deeply imprinted on my young brain, and they define my greatest pleasures. The smell of the salt air, infused with the sharp iodine of seaweed and the decay of sand and mud exposed at low tide. The simple building, aging shingles, peeling paint, old wood aged to dark chestnut. Roads of sand as fine as powdered sugar, cutting though pine forests with dappled light reaching the ground. All of these things excite me still, 60 years later.