February 01, 2015
As January slips away so does my patience with fog. After weeks of fog, along with knowing a sunny blue sky is a hundred or two feet above, and because February can hold more fog ahead, my patience is normally wanting.
So I am surprised to find my patience fairly intact at the end of January. I have had enough, little doubt about that, but I have found the winter fog talkative. Walking back to the house the other night I watched the crescent moon barrel through the fog and backlight a bare tree. The tree stood full, chest out, nakedly proud in the showering mist of fog. Lovely how a cold foggy winter night brings out the ampleness of life lodged in water of air, tree, and moon.
I miss the fullness of life too often. I find it easy enough to think a tree as living, and when creek water tumbles or fog loiters, living water. Yet my secular and religious teachings have taught me to give little credence to the notion of life in rock, soil, mountain, or moon. When it comes to soil it’s okay to give life to the rhizomes and micro-critters living within, but the dirt itself? Not a chance. Moon shimmering through a night fog calls forth another story.
Some folk mindfully walk. Such walking allows awareness of grounded relationship. A relationship the ground has always known. Ground is fully aware of the feet who play ball, run, hike or swing a child in the air. The stories of twisting, heavy breath, and laughter become grounded. While we—our partners, our parents, our children, ourselves—may forget such moments, they are not lost, but embedded. If one listens, the ground has stories to tell.
As a child, as children do, I laid on the ground and watched the clouds. Giants and sea monsters wandered by and stories were told. With age, and it didn’t take much, I knew those great beings wandering the sky and their stories as imagination. I wonder today if I now miss actual harmony between sky, human, and earth. Such harmony calls me to imagine the normality of a three in one relationship whereby the ground tells long held stories. Such normality begs forth story from dirt and moon alike who have watched folk’s comings and goings for quite some time. Perhaps, a close listening in moon light fog allows ancients to roam, ancestors to visit, and the remembrance of our people.
I share your less than friendly attitude toward fog, of which there is plenty along the Columbia River half a dozen blocks from my condo. I have yet to develop the moments of friendliness you describe. Thanks for the reflection.
Keith Watkins Church Historian and Open Road Cyclist Check out my new book http://wipfandstock.com/the-american-church-that-might-have-been.html
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I’ve never settled into fog well. I think it has something to do with being raised in the high desert of southern California. It may have been dry, but winter always held plenty of sun and blue sky. Be well on the Columbia! Dave