The low cloud ceiling and rain have given us a rare summer thing—solitude. Aki and I are walking a thin strip of old growth forest that rims a crescent-shaped beach. We have the place to ourselves, which doesn’t make Aki very happy. She loves to meet another dog, squeal in a tiny voice when they meet, crouch in submission, and dash around until she and her new friend tire of each other. Today she can only search for food scraps beneath the picnic tables.
I should be more thrilled with the solitude. We even have silence. The low cloud ceiling has grounded the noisy helicopters and planes that usually fly over here each summer day. But, like Aki, I miss the presence of other animals. No birds float on the water or fly over our heads. No Dall porpoise cut the bay’s surface with their stubby dorsal fins. There is not even squirrel chatter to break the silence.