Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni books Dianne Salerni blog Dianne Salerni Appearances Dianne Salerni contact Dianne Salerni teachers
Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | My Safe Haven

My Safe Haven

Where do you go to de-stress? Find inspiration? Reflect and brainstorm and relax? For me, it’s my own backyard.

The pond was not functional when we bought the house. There was a place for a waterfall, but there was no circulation. The pond was ankle deep in sludge that the previous owners’ boys thought would be fun to throw in: bricks, broken flower pots, legos, batteries, a penknife, etc. Unbelievably, there were still three living fish, and a couple of frogs who (no lie) used to swim in the pool every night as if detoxifying themselves with the chlorine.

It took a few years to clean it all up, mostly because my husband had a grandiose scheme that turned out to be a brilliant idea. We dug a stream up the hill, laid in a second, smaller pond, and fitted the whole outfit with a pump to circulate the water.

We learned the hard way that we couldn’t keep fish in the upper pond. They invariably go over the falls. (Whee!) But the frogs love it. In the lower pond, we now have over a dozen goldfish, one beautiful golden koi, and a squadron of mysterious black fish who arrived from outer space. (I’ll talk about that in a moment.)

Fish disappear sometimes, but that’s easy to explain. We used to have a cat, but it wasn’t him. In fact, Maui protected the pond from the most likely culprit: a blue heron. I saw this bird once fly out of the pond, his wing span about six feet across. Maui chased him across the pool deck, then came skidding to a stop when the heron lit upon our fence and looked back at the cat. The heron was fully four feet tall; the black cat weighed about 10 lbs, even when his fur stood on end. There was a stand-off. The cat was thinking: Oh, sh**! The heron was thinking: I wonder if I can carry him off? I had to go out and shoo off the bird myself, although I swear it laughed haughtily at me before departing.

Fish also mysteriously appear. Sometimes, they breed. That’s no mystery. But we do have the Black Squadron, a dozen black fish with silver heads who appeared quite suddenly one year. They can’t possibly have come from our other fish. They are not similar to the other fish in shape or color. One day, they just were there – as if they had dropped from the sky. Even spookier was when we discovered another one in the upper pond. He was larger than the others, and when we moved him to the lower pond, he promptly became their leader.

The most logical explanation is that we bought a pond plant that had eggs in it. (And one of the eggs got sucked up the filter and landed in the upper pond.) But we don’t know for sure. The pond is a mysterious place, and I love it.

Where is your safe haven?
(Do you see the frog in this picture?)

9 Responses to My Safe Haven

  1. I love that – how fun and how beautiful! I just re-did my bedroom, and it has truly become a sanctuary for me. Peace at last! 🙂

  2. Becca says:

    *gapes* I want your backyard…

    Yes, I see the frog. We had two frogs when there was a random spring, I of course named them Frederick and Ferdinand. Unfortunately the spring and frogs are gone.

    Anyway, the question? My safe haven is in bed, under the covers, lights off, radio on, and my brain finally free to dream and not be bogged down by reality.

  3. WritingNut says:

    Hi! New follower here 🙂 Your backyard is absolutely beautiful. I think I would just sit there all day! Yup, I see the frog!

    I haven’t discovered my safe haven as yet. It’s probably my room more than anything else though.

  4. JEM says:

    Oh my gosh, so beautiful! I’m totally jealous now. Must create backyard to rival Dianne…wait, I’m terrible with yard work. Durn.

  5. Jen says:

    I’m so impressed that I found the frog!!! What a beautiful safe haven! I wish I had one as magical as yours, then again I don’t think I’d ever leave! I’m inspired by pictures alone.

    I wish I had a safe spot, I’m still finding mine, but if I had a choice it would look a lot like yours!

    I’m visiting over from Candyland by the way!!! It’s nice to meet another writer, and it seems we have many buddies in common and have yet to meet, so nice to meet you!

  6. That sounds like a really cool pond and a great place to destress! My favorite place? Outside in my lounge chair, preferably in the shade on a sunny day. Just a few minutes is all it takes:)

  7. G.~ says:

    I do see the frog and that is strange.

    I am slowly building a safe haven/relaxation place in my back yard, but in the mean time we live on a lake so I walk over to the little peninsula and take some time.

    I usually need to physically remove myself from the state that I live in for about a week to recoup and get inspired. I need to go where things are unfamiliar and unknown. That is what works best for me.

  8. Oh it’s just gorgeous! We also have a pond in our backyard–not nearly as big, but with fish and lily pads and frogs and even a turtle! Like you, we have a blue heron who likes to come pick off the big goldfish–it drives my husband crazy. Now we only have the small ones left! I think I’ll like the pond a lot more once my daughter gets a little bigger. She thinks it’s fun to climb the rocks and she might just give me a heart attack!

  9. […] to visit other people’s blogs. I’m hoping the soothing sound of the waterfall, the intrigue of mysterious fish that appear in my pond, the colorful backdrop of flowers, and the relaxation of the pool will inspire me for many creative […]