in the fog

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.  Carl Sandburg

This week I spent some time in the fog. Tuesday afternoon the little cat feet crept into my park, right in the middle of my walk. I think it was the first time in years that fog actually descended while I was outdoors in a static setting. I watched with curiousity as it gently tiptoed and stretched all across the field until finally it settled into a cool blanket, contentedly wrapping itself in a tail of vaporous mist. I named the fog Felinity. (Thank you Mr. Sandburg.) Why is it when we personify a thing, it becomes less scary?

Felinity remained on Wednesday, disquieting my morning walk from the usual rhythms and patterns of daily park life. She intimidated my blue sky with her cloudy repose. The stealthy light haze of her personality, silent and poised, seemed to affect any creature which might consider itself prey. With the bird songs muted and the squirrels vanquished to the trees, there was no sense of time. The quiet was surreal. No breeze, no petal snow, no chirping, clucking or whistles. No running, scurrying, flitting, hopping. No color. No smell. Without the usual business and distraction of daybreak, my thoughts echoed and bounced uncomfortably around the white mist. With all of the morning creatures missing or nonexistent, it was an unusual and odd walk. I couldn’t stop thinking “When will Mr. Sandburg’s poetic enigma move on?”

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Thursday morning came and I am happy to report Felinity was gone!  (Can you tell I am not a cat/fog person?) Cats and fog are mysterious to me. Too much is hidden when they appear. One never can tell what a cat is thinking, and fog, well fog is always in the scary movies and stories, a veil hiding something sinister. Oh, how I appreciated the gradient and glowy daybreak! The beautiful round red fire rising up in slow motion over the horizon, gently waking my senses and lighting up the world once again. The park and its environment were back to normal – a bustle of busy behaviors.

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After one lap, my nose detected a whiff of Mother Nature’s grand scent in the air – the lingering perfume of the white, pink and purple flowering trees. Was it she who finally shooed Felinity off to another spot?

With my mind free to ponder within the bouquet of spring blooms, my thoughts once again found their rhythm in the loud, busy serenity of the moment. Maybe I needed Felinity to remind me to pause for awhile in the absolute stillness; to spend time in the fog of sensory absence in order to appreciate all the joy my daily walks in the park provide.

As I looped around toward the west, I was sure this was my lesson. Over the horizon, I could see the bright light of the setting moon barely surrendering to its destiny. Even the moon seemed to be having a hard time letting go of the beautiful spring sunrise! I get it now – never take this one precious sunrise, this one precious walk, this one precious day for granted.

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