Classes ended and we drove South. Away from New England and its cobblestone streets and clear cold skies, out of Rhode Island and through Connecticut, New Jersey, New York. We were in West Virginia by nightfall and the Shenandoah Valley by dinnertime. We stepped out of the car into warm, humid wind, unseasonable but nourishing nevertheless, smelling of flowers and farmland and lush vegetation. More hugs than handshakes, amazing accents and slow talk, music and good food. We toured small-town Virginia, finally setting the scenes to all Zach’s stories. Music everywhere – a fiddle being played downstairs, guitars and beautiful voices intertwined with the midday light of someone’s living room, bands playing until late and playing more at their houses even later. Rural landscapes and rolling hills, cabins in the mountains and intimate forest rivers. Peace and quiet, stillness in the air.