A carrier pigeon arrived in the garden in late February. It spent the better part of the day just watching. It was not carrying a written message on its banded leg, but perhaps it foretold what was about to unfold.

The ducks and geese mock us now. Public use areas have been closed due to COVID during the remainder of hunting season. The birds have found plenty of places to feast and fly – unmolested. We envy their togetherness.

The rescue is very quiet.

We have limited our on-site volunteers to two per shift. It ensures that there are teams available to feed, clean, exercise and care for the dogs while protecting ourselves and each other.

I have found a quiet corner in the garden away from working team members to keep the weeds from overrunning the place.

And to get out where it is safe. I usually crave my solitude in the garden.

Strange that I should miss the commotion.

The little boy I wrote about last week – Orbit – has gone to foster.

Remington, too.

They can finish healing there while reducing our volunteers’ chores. Our fosters have stepped up in a big way for which we are grateful.

Solitude is hard for some. If we can find a silver lining in this disaster, it is the forced time to stop our hectic lives long enough to appreciate each other, goodness, and the things that should unite not divide.

“It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.” ~K.T. Jong

A friend posted to social media. She was feeling frustrated and penned up. To busy herself, she cleaned her bookshelf where she found a copy of The Diary of Anne Frank. Perspective.

A Day of Solitude


“You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it.” ~ Casare Paves

The rescue is my village – and often my haven. But between my day job and my volunteer work for the rescue evenings and weekends, I was reminded that it I have been working seven day weeks for a very long time. We’ve had some joyous times recently – and some very difficult ones. I woke up very much feeling under the weather: mentally- more than physically.

So I slept in very late … and then went where I am always happiest: the garden. My own this time.

Lemon Tree_DSC_1274

“Home is a shelter from storms — all sorts of storms.” ~ William J. Bennett

If you look on the USDA map, the city of Sacramento where I live, and the rescue – which is in open country only 20 miles away – are both supposed to be in the same Zone 9. But any good gardening site will show you that the city has its own micro-climate which is much more Mediterranean. Protected by trees, houses and buildings, it can rise all the way to Zone 14. It is evident in my home garden, where things are still – or already – blooming.


It has been sorely neglected. So today – the roses were pruned, the last of the leaves were raked, and the soggy messes cleaned up as the next wave of rain settled in. In solitude.


Well … near solitude. The hummingbirds kept me company.


And when the work was done – there was, of course, a (wet) dog or two to return to.


“A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there.” ~Casare Pavese

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day and a work holiday. I’ll likely return to “the village” and get my fix of dogs and memorial garden – with a more restored sense of self. Solitude is sometimes good for the soul.

“Inside myself is a place where I live all alone, and that’s where I renew my springs that never dry up.” ~ Pearl Buck