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October Fog: What Does the Dim Light Reveal?

Late October begs a thick fog, masking things hidden, things we might ought to fear, things potentially deadly; at least in the Halloween movies. But something amazing happened this morning in the fog.

FOG GARDEN

This morning, pastel layers of fog-shrouded tree lines slowly come into view here from my breakfast spot, the high deck overlooking distant hills. This is the place where I relax, before the worries of tomorrow and any tensions of yesterday creep into my thoughts. Once darkness subsides, fog is rather peaceful, and fear abates. 

Lately I’ve devoted this morning deck time to relinquishing pieces of me which don’t belong: old attitudes, fear, worry, a critical spirit, excess in eating, talking when I should be listening… And in the slowly-building morning light, as the fog begins to diminish, I can more easily detect these things and lay them down, if for just one more day. And as I remembered to check my ambitions among these, I thought of my blogging, questioning my reach and written offerings.

Then something amazing happened:

I re-opened an old blog site of mine, and the last post was from this very date (October 27) four years ago. And it was precisely on the same topic I’d just been writing. No mere coincidence, it is my own voice speaking truth to me when I needed it most. Here’s that post from October 27, 2010:

“Thick rolls of cotton-edged mist-cloud march toward my deck perch this morning, offering a chill that raises the hair on my arms as I type. The contrast to the unseasonable heat that pervaded my hilltop world last evening is striking. And so is the dullness of my deck garden; only hints of the vibrant blue-purples of Petunias, deep blood red of Mums dotted with corn yellow, and chartreuse of the Creeping Jenny, can be discerned in this dim morning fog-light. I say “fog-light” as I struggle to find a word that accurately describes the morning glow that is devoid of the magic we usually ascribe to the word “glow.”

There is some light, yes, as I can see the plant pots at my feet, the laptop before me on the red and white kitchen cloth, and the cheerful red Barcelona mug and the steam curling upward for my steaming lemon-ginger tea. But the flowers….they turn downward as if to avoid facing the day, much as I’d like to after a rainy night of sleep. Bright hues are replaced by the dull patina of wetness and cloud-reflection. It is so odd…how vastly different my flowers appear beneath warmth and brightness of direct sunlight. My eyes, typically flitting from flower to flower in revelry of the morning, find not the individual blossoms seemingly smiling at the sky, but the dull gray of undefined shapes lying limp as if in wait to be revived.

It feels rather sad and solemn, this scene. But what’s happening here? Are my flowers dying, or are they loppy and drunk with the fresh rain that will restore them for days on end? I was at first wont to feel sad, eyeing the garden, but I quickly recalled how like the garden we are. These times of dullness, even the aching oppression that often marches in with wet, gray autumn days, can so easily steal not only our joy but our ability to see things with the clear definition we’ve grown accustomed to in the carefree days of summer sunlight. Perspective can get muddied, and life may lose the crisp-edged glory of more polished times when everything, everyone and every issue seem illuminated and colorful. Perhaps it’s time for a readjustment of perspective; perhaps these are the times of nourishment, much like rain on the garden.

What, then, can we do? Rest, for one, like the flower blossoms drooping under the rain. We know rest is good for our soul, body and mind. But I suspect that it is during times of rest, when we let go of some summer activity, that we are more open to introspection and revelation. Ever notice how, when the angle of the summer sun changes and suddenly a host of dusty corners in the house are revealed in a new light? Every autumn I wonder how this filth evaded my inspection until now, but realize it was merely lacking the illumination of the sun all summer.

What happens if we allow the light to switch angles, and illuminate quiet, dark, or perhaps hidden parts of our lives? Things will come to light. Things we can begin to observe, understand, and make decisions on. If change is needed, only now do we have the chance to affect it. Out of sight, out of mind, right?”

What about you? Leave a comment! Has anything important come to light in your life recently? How was it hidden? Are you living according to your values? If not, do they need more definition or are there fears you need to call out?

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