Just as the hot weather is starting to take hold in Virginia, I find myself putting the winter layers back on to survive June in Northern Vermont (last night’s temperature was 42˚). This is our annual summer visit to the Northeast Kingdom, a place we’ve been returning to for more than 30 years. With our own business and intense creative lives, my husband and I were coming here to “unplug” before the plugging in included emails, cellphones, and the internet. We love the countryside—the mountains, meadows, lakes, and farms that make up this sparsely populated corner of the state. When we turn off the dirt road that surrounds the lake and drive down the rutted lane that leads to our rental cottage, we feel that we have dropped down Alice’s rabbit hole into a magical world. Only this world belongs to scolding robins, and mother ducks parading their broods, and loons floating serenely as they scout for fish. Suddenly we can hear the wind speak in all its voices—from whispering rustles to howling storms. The clouds parade past us—sometimes striding, sometimes sprinting—their reflections magnified on the surface of the lake. Here I can float in a kayak, read on the beach, take long walks, and pursue butterflies and wildflowers with my lens, indulging my need for solitude and the comforting connection with nature. It takes a couple of days to get into the rhythm of it, so ingrained is the habit of response and the need to be always doing, but it’s good medicine for the spirit. In a few days the rest of the family will arrive, and the delight and energy of grandsons will also be good for the spirit—still magical, if a bit more boisterous!