lessons learned: what fog can teach us about slowing down

It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog.

~Joseph Conrad

This morning on the way to school, we came upon a patch of low lying fog.  It wasn’t the kind of fog that whispers in the

foggy morning cows

trees, but a thick soup of condensation that surprised us as we rounded a blind curve.  As you can imagine, it took us all by surprise, and I tapped on the brakes to slow down a bit.

You see, I knew what was coming ahead was a small bridge that is barely wide enough for two cars.  Usually, I just slow down and share the road as I travel across, but on school mornings filled with late teenagers and type-A professionals, I usually stop and give right of way to motorists zooming toward me.

This morning, however, I could see nothing, and I will admit, my hands clenched the steering wheel a bit.  I inched forward hoping that what lay ahead wouldn’t blindside me.  A car from the other direction quickly approached the bridge.  Normally, I might have moved forward, but today, I waited and thankfully so.  As it flew around the curve into toward the structure, it had to swerve over the line on the bridge to maintain it’s place on the road.  Slowing down in the fog had given me the opportunity to assess what might happen and be safe.

As I sat there a moment, feeling thankful, I began thinking about how my life is when I feel like I’m “in a fog.”  I can’t see

lighting the path

clearly, I get anxious about what’s ahead, and I forget to trust what I know to be true–the bridge is short, the fog will clear, and I will see the light of day again.  I seem to inch along though, just hoping that I make it to the other side.

The benefit of fog, however, is that it slows us down.  It surrounds us.  It encourages us to stop and think, “Why and I here, where am I going, and how do I get there?”  It does create a bit of uncertainty, but it also opens us up to possibility and provides us with hindsight.   Being in a fog creates and opportunity for discernment and perhaps, offers us a time to be in the “waiting place”-serving as an opportunity to stop and catch our breaths then make intentional choices.

And yes, we did make it over the bridge safely.  As we turned the corner to head down the next road, the sun shone brightly through the newly blossoming trees, reminding me that the fog always opens up to a newly lit path.

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “lessons learned: what fog can teach us about slowing down

  1. Wow, you set your encounter with the morning fog to words like a composer sets feelings to music. I recently wrote about Active Inactivity, doing nothing on purpose, to take a break from all the things in the world that go “beep” . . . and maybe to get a little glimpse at discernment, too.

    I’m glad you made it safely over the bridge.

    1. Thanks, Rob–you are so kind. I am with you on the Active Inactivity–you should check out my post on “homesteading the homesteader.” I actually facilitate a women’s group called “Just Be,” and that’s what we practice doing with body, mind, soul, spirit.

      Always glad to find a fellow “just be” soul. ~Cameron

      1. Thanks for pointing me to your “homesteading the homesteader” post. It’s a great way to think about the path to being centered. I believe in the importance of “active inactivity”, “just be”-ing, or whatever name is used . . . and it’s still hard for me to slow down and take time to do it for myself. I loved the quote dktdkt shared: “Be good to your body–if it falls apart, where will you live?”

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