A foggy day makes me think of noir, mystery, and trust. The thicker it is, the slower I must go. My usual markers go by unseen, and I might go unseen. I sort of like that.
Kurt took off on his bike, on this foggy morning. He’ll stick to the Cardinal Greenway, where I’ll pick him up on our way to our son’s college graduation. He’ll enjoy the odd cloud moisture and being hidden from the world.
Funny, though, this day of fog on a day of graduation. We want our graduates to see the long view, to dream the future into being, to grasp ahead and pull themselves forward. But, it is foggy and so they must slow down enough and trust that seeing only 5 yards in front of them is enough.
When Kurt and I lived in Puerto Rico, our house and our church were situated along the spine of a mountain. It was wide enough for a road and a few buildings to the side, but the thick swarms of bamboo alerted all to the drop off at various places, or the mountain wall on the other. The clouds were an amazement during the day, on that mountain width. You could see them form down low, fluffy formations rising from the coffee and banana jungles, rising up the side of the slick clay mountain earth, finally to reach its tendrils into the building windows during worship or supper or an afternoon nap. The cloud would move through the openings and just hang and drift. I formed my life long metaphor of God as Mist during that year. For the mist is always present, sometimes formed, often unformed, able to move into every crevice of my life and being.
One day, I was alone in the church building and noticed a cloud forming rather quickly. It was large and thick. I knew that because of the time of day (late afternoon) that once that cloud enveloped the building it would feel like night and I became scared. So, I made the decision to start walking home, thinking I could beat the arrival of the obscuring visitor. As I locked the large front doors, I could feel the curl of the first crawl of cloud. I began to walk on that width of mountain spine. I knew the locals would not slow down because they new every dip and curve and climb of that mountain. So, I had to be attentive to what I could hear, while I couldn’t see anything.
Well, I could see. But by then I was in the cloud. What I could see was the dream of white moving around me, teasing my brain out of equilibrium into thinking leaning was upright, left was right….so I looked at my feet. I could see them. I could see the pavement or gravel that they walked on, but only that. I slowed down. One foot. The next foot. Listening. Feeling. Dreaming. Wondering where the drive was to our home. When would this end.
And then it lifted. Not completely but I found myself automatically looking up inside of down. My gaze shifted and could suddenly see the avocado tree and knew I had walked right passed our house. The cloud was now visually dissipating to filaments and stretches and clumps….and I could see where I was going.
May those who graduate from high school, college, vocational school, a certificate program….who graduate from server to manager, from worker to business owner, from one point in life to the next, see where they are headed. Look at your footing if you see nothing else. Pay attention when your gaze shifts; the view may have cleared.