I love fog in the morning. There is something about being enveloped in a gray shroud that invokes the imagination like nothing else. There is freedom from the mundane. There is a chance for something unexpected to take place. Despite all my logical predispositions to accept that what before me is real, I keep the idea in the back of my mind that magic can happen at any time.
There are different forms of fog that lead to different feelings, at least that’s what I’ve observed.
Some mornings, the fog is localized over the river. In the distance I can make out a puffy, low-lying shroud hovering over the entrenched, shallow river-way, this cloud stretching into the distance in either direction, but the rest of the air is clear and sunny. If I happen close enough to a pond on such a day, I see the tendrils of mist snaking up from the surface of the water like breath from water nymphs. I want to take a closer look, but there is always somewhere to be and a fence between me and the water.
Then there are the low-slung clouds licking the peaks of the hills and leaving the valleys free and open. We rarely have such clouds here. We are not in the mountains, so to see such a site is a novelty.
Today’s fog is the kind of fog that comes up from the moist earth, as water vapor becomes trapped as condensation just above the ground where the dew point has reached the optimum temperature. It has rained heavily the last two nights, bringing slightly cooler air that, unfortunately, heats up quickly again during the last frying days of summer. This is saturating fog. You can feel it on your skin when you step outside. You can feel it in your lungs as you breath. There is an earthy aroma penetrating your olfactory senses that reminds you that all living things eventually decay to make room for fresh life.
Clouds in the upper atmosphere block the sun, prohibiting the fiery orb from burning away the fog. The mist lingers. The fog is a blanket that does not offer cozy comfort. Instead, there is a restlessness in the soul, a anxiety spawned from the unknown. We often associate fog with being lost, like sailors on the sea unable to make out the rocky shore until it is too late to turn the rudder.
The fog is not too thick. You can see a few hundred feet, and further everything begins to gray-0ut and disappear, as though the horizon is suddenly with in easy reach and nothing exists beyond. The world is smaller, closer. I drive along the road with faith that everything that existed yesterday is in the same place today. Secretly, I’m excited that something more interesting might happen today. The fog brings with it ethereal magic, a sense that the mythical creatures of ancient lore are playing nearby, hidden from our mortal eyes by the misty curtain. You might think you see something, a shape in the fog unfamiliar to you, a figure dancing in the haze. But it’s gone when you edge closer. Is it your imagination or are the sprites teasing you?
Fog gives my mind freedom to imagine what might lie beyond the next bend in the road, even though I drive this route everyday of the week. Maybe the next best story will begin with a foggy morning.