Have you ever taken notice of the differences between fog and mist? I hadn’t paid much attention to it either…clouds are clouds right? Last night, I cruised down some back roads. It was dark, but clear overhead thanks to the storms that had made their way through and cleansed the air. The temperature light on my dashboard said 66 degrees, so the rain had done its cooling work. I opened the roof and windows to allow the chilly wind to blow through my hair. The Katydids were in stereo and louder than the breeze gusting in my ears. The road was shiny wet and the moon glow was glimmering so that the meandering curves were silver serpents. There were stars for the first night in weeks it seemed, and I was tempted to look up a little too often for my safety. Coming around the backside of Mount Yonah, I saw the low hanging cloud which at first glance appeared to be fog. However, as I got closer I realized it was actually mist hovering between and over the mountains. The giant black silhouettes were the backdrop for the floating shroud of white. It moved upward in tongues like silken fire…breaking apart into mystical ghosts gliding over trees and stirring up, ever skyward. Beautiful mountain mist.
I rounded yet another curve into a low lying area. I would not have seen the small lake if I had not known it was there. Another cloud bank rolled out in front of me. This cloud was thick, like pea soup and heavy. It hung low to the ground and would have sunk lower still had there been room. It was trying to seep into the soil and disappear like a shy schoolgirl, but it could not. The lake appeared to be a cauldron of white, as if someone was making a stew which boiled over onto the road and surrounding lowlands. My headlights shown into the fog and hit the white wall, preventing me from seeing more than just a few feet in front of me. It swallowed the light then reflected it back at me so that I had to dim the lights. Inside the car suddenly became damp with moisture from the cloud. Heavy fog.
I think it is rare to find both so close together on one road. It made for a wonderful opportunity to really ponder the differences. Fog moves downward, mist up. Fog is heavy, mist is light. Both glow in the moonlight. Both are white and somewhat mystical looking in the darkness of night. Once again I am amazed at the simple things and their beauty. I prefer mist because it draws my eye upwards. Fog causes me to look just ahead and no further.
There are some days in life that are foggy. You cannot see two feet in front of you. You have to slow down, take time, and focus in order to see at all. Other days the mist rises and the view is spectacular. Your heart is full, and you can see for miles through the shifting shapes of white over the mountains. Both kinds are part of life, and both are beautiful in their own way. If you listen you can hear the message in the mist/fog.
“I will be with you. I do not leave when the fog rolls in. Trust me with your short vision. I am guiding your steps. I will be with you. I do not leave when you can see forever. Do not forget me with your long vision. I am guiding you… either way. Lift your eyes to the hills from where your help comes.”