Autumn here was a bit dry, but as we approach the winter solstice–mild temperatures, rain, and many days of fog. Fog seems apropos. My mind has been fuzzy lately, clarity of intent and expression lacking. It’s one reason I have not been blogging.
When the air temperature gets up to 45° or 50° F, stinkbugs come out of their torpor and slowly climb up the window screens where they have been hiding or buzz noisily about the rooms, acting as sleepy and undirected as I feel. True, the daylight’s dwindling, and that makes many of us go into a sort of hibernating mode, mentally if not physically (likely a bit of both). True, the Fall semester at the university is in its last week or two and, as usual, is wearing on me.
Also true, it’s hunting season until the 10th, and the deer may be grateful for the fog…at any rate, taking advantage of it. It’s not all negative. Water molecules in the air can be good for plants, hydrating them after a dry autumn. Fog means less dry skin for those of us who wander around outside.
But let’s face it: fog encourages molds and increases the chance of traffic accidents and tends to head people into a low-barometer frame of mind. Foggy-headed. Brain fog. Here’s an informative breakdown of fog’s kinds and outcomes (yes! of course there are categories of fog!) https://mrcc.purdue.edu/living_wx/fog/index.html Some of my readers may find poetry in these categories.
Just before dusk this afternoon, I stood at my window and marveled at the dense cloudiness of the valley, at the stark bare trees snaking their way up through the pale damp air. I felt a twinge of European Romanticism: Caspar Friedrich’s “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” and all that. The view was analogous to my fusty mind. All sorts of possibilities out there in the mist, nothing to strike toward, no path, potential risk. But beautiful in its way. I thought to myself, “There is something hidden in all this, and among the hidden-ness, things that are dear and familiar to me, not just fearful unknowns.”
The garden is there. The deer. The beech tree, some of its leaves still clinging. The bank voles and the red squirrels, the holly bush, the daffodils underground that will emerge in April. My fog will clear.
Then darkness overtook fog, and the coyotes called their carols in the moist air.