Take an island off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, one you can’t get to by car. You have to leave the mainland behind and take a ferry over. Put yourself in a house on the Pamlico Sound, with a wide back porch overlooking the water to the west, so that every evening you can sit out and watch the sunset. There’s a dock for fishing and crabbing and sitting and sitting and …well, sitting. Add a beach bike with a basket that you can ride all over the island for hours and hours and never have to face a hill, just the roads in and out of the village, up to the beach and back, the wind and water and live oaks filling your senses to the brim with well being. Don’t forget riding out in the dark, without a light, on your bike, to the village theatre where you hear the local musicians from a group called Molasses Creek playing with other local musicians in a “Celtic Jam,” the back roads pitch black but for the glow of Sister Moon, the sounds of early summer crickets accompanying your night journey. There are all the feral island cats (many), mosquitos (a few), a seven year old boy in your party who is crazy for spotting crabs off the deck out back (“There’s a GIGANTIC ONE!”), a famous local pirate whose legacy lives on in many local establishments (Blackbeard’s Lodge, Pirate’s Chest), a fantastic bookstore called Books to Be Red, a local weekend festival with tons of bluegrass, gospel and folk music, art, great food! (fried Spanish Mackeral was the catch of the week) and long days doing only what you want to do and nothing, absolutely nothing else. Take all of this for approximately ten days, sleep as long as you can in the morning, eat whatever you want, drink wine and sit with loved ones while watching the Pirate Cruise cross the horizon at sunset every night. Remember to go to the Slushie Stop every once in awhile for a double scoop ice cream cone, perhaps in the middle of one of your island bike rides, during which you have no idea what time it is or where you’re going or where you’ll end up, except maybe on the back deck at dusk. Do not think about anything other than what is, right there, with the sun and the sand and the ocean and the sound surrounding you and embracing you in the glow of these warm, healing days and you will have nothing other than magic–summer magic, Ocracoke Island, NC, June 2012.