A foggy morning

fog 014I scrape the ice from the windscreen, looking with little enthusiasm at the heavy pall of fog that blankets the world. November… we’ve done well to make it this far without ice on the windows. Even so, my fingers are already that peculiar shade of blue that I forget about through the summer, only to be painfully reminded by the first frost. I must dig the gloves out, I suppose.

The oversized fleece is warm, the sweater beneath making me feel heavier than I should. I slide into a car that feels damp and chill. I have things to do outside today at my son’s home, but first I have to get there, and, of course, it is rush hour, such as it is in lockdown. The roads are choked with slow-moving traffic, the morning rat-run exacerbated by roadworks. I wait, feigning patience, for a gap through which I can dart into the flow of traffic.

Cars, mostly silver on this grey day, glide like silent ghosts, too slowly for their engine noise to pierce the shrouding fog. Their outlines are blurred, visibility is poor and the inside of the windscreen is fogged by my breath as I join the snaking line of cars that move in macabre procession towards a town where few wish to be. You can almost feel the reluctance of the drivers who head to work, called to spend our days earning the living which leaves us so little time or energy for life. We move so slowly it feels like a funeral.

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I can see the silhouettes of birds perched in spectral trees, the looming monsters that seem to appear without warning as the trucks come towards you on the narrow road, their lights predatory eyes that open to pounce upon the unwary. The camera is in my bag and I would love to be able to stop and explore, capturing the misty magic of the fields and woods, seeking the beauty I know awaits just off the beaten track. There are so many ways I could have chosen… over the hills, through little lost villages… beneath skeletal trees denuded of leaves…

I can’t, though, as I am already running later than expected.

Leaving the village behind, the road cuts through the low lying fields and here the fog thickens. The road itself becomes almost invisible; the only guide is the dull red glow of the tail-lights in front. Car follows car into nothingness, trusting that those ahead know the way. Each car is an island in a grey sea. Behind are the points of white light of those who follow, trusting me as blindly as I trust those ahead. Unable to see, you are acutely aware that the only ones who actually know where they are have already arrived at the destination we all share; the town with its lights and the warmth that dissipates the mist.

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I wonder about that. The weather echoes part of our own journey. We follow the stream, often through necessity rather than choice. Yet the stream draws us… there is safety on a beaten track, security in following a trail lit by the journey of others, even if we only trust… rather than know… that those who have passed this way before know where they are going. Some, we assume, must have made it to our common goal and it is from them that the stream leads back to where we are. Yet I have to wonder how much we miss by sticking to the known route; failing to explore the hidden wonders that are veiled by the mists along the way.

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36 thoughts on “A foggy morning

      1. I do, too, Sue. There’s something mysterious about not being able to see anything except dark outlines. Mind you, I didn’t like the ‘pea-soupers’ of the 50s and 60s. They were horrible. Yellow in colour and tasting of sulphur dioxide.

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  1. This so reminded me of winter mornings in Evanston, IL. We seldom get fog here, but usually in the summer when the ground is warm and the air is chilled. It’s quite an experience which you described so beautifully. And you are never one to not explore alternative ways of getting somewhere!

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  2. We didn’t often get fog in the prairies but I once had to drive from Edmonton to Calgary (about 3 hours) in dense fog which was awful. Almost as bad as doing that same drive through a blizzard, which I also did. Talk about white-knuckling it. Don’t think I could do that now. I’m glad you got to your destination safely. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. xo

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    1. Thick forg and heavy snow are both terrible for driving, though the worst was a freezing rain that turned to ice as soon as it it the car and windshield,making it impossible to see.

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  3. Thank you for the inspiration and motivation, Sue, even if unintentional. Seems strange that it might come out of the fog, but maybe that’s where the best inspiration waits. I, too, love the fog (but not the driving in it!).

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  4. Sometimes some of the most beautiful things are stumbled upon by accident. I remember going for a walk in Hazlemere where I was on a banking course, and following a track suddenly came out into a fantastic valley. I had no camera, but revelled in the peace and tranquillity of such a place that seemed so distant from the rat race I had left.

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  5. Such a beautiful image of a foggy day and your words a perfect descriptor…we don’t have fog here or snow and ice for which I am pleased but when I see images I am reminded of how beautiful and mysterious it was 😉 XX

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