On mornings when I wake to a veil of thick mist sitting heavy on the landscape my heart skips and I feel that for a brief moment there is room to be still. Like a warm embrace, fog reminds us to slow down, to pause, to savour.
Soon enough, the sun will rise and its warmth will lift this veil, pulling it higher and higher to the tree tops until at last the final wisps will float away like faint clouds on morning breezes. And the bustle of the day will once again sweep us away and carry us onward. Our pace will quicken, cars will speed past us just that little bit quicker, children will spill out of buildings to run and play and their laughter and voices will carry in the wind.
But in those early morning moments, when you can hardly see but a few feet in front of you there is little choice but to move through the landscape with more care and heightened intention.
Fog is often synonymous with confusion and lack of clarity. And yet, fog sharpens the eye. You must be intentional about your steps, you must walk with eyes open. Fog is illuminating. Fog casts the world through entirely new eyes and in a new light; its details softened and highlighted in the same stroke.
Through my lens I am always seeking the light, chasing it, hoping to capture it just so. Fog filters the light in new ways and draws the eye to unnoticed corners. It may obscure, but that which it illuminates it does with subtly and grace. Though we yearn for the bright rising sun it can cast a harsh glare and blind. Chasing light is a delicate dance and more light does not always ensure clearer vision.
In the fog, senses are honed. Lack of vision tunes the ear, it heightens intuition. Rushing will only disorient and confuse.
I eagerly pursue the fog. Some mornings that means the frantic grabbing of camera and lenses in the hope of capturing those moments before it lifts. But most often it means a time for reflection. A moment for the mind to be still. For the chatter to subside and for the spirit to gather inspiration and to rest. A time to be present and to just be. The urge to be in constant motion is silenced, hastiness must be checked. There is wisdom in the slowing.
And as sure as the rising sun, the veil of mist and fog never fails to lift. But cherished are the lessons learned in the stillness. There will always be rushing, the hours and days will slip through our fingers, the years will grow in number. May they be best counted through the moments we chose to savour.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
~ St. Patrick