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Frolicking in the Fog
The fog swirls around me like smoke, dew drops floating in the air like damp dust particles, accumulating on surfaces to make them slick and wet. Refracting the morning sunlight into glistening rays across the hayfields, the fog enhances the limelight of the new day, buffering certain sounds and amplifying others.
The fog carries magic and a feeling of mystery, an atmosphere copied and produced by fog machines worldwide.
I have never been a morning person. And yet, as I grow older, I have come to value and enjoy my outdoor mornings (not in winter) with the cat, dogs, and chickens. I have found the early time outside provides a buffer between dreamland and the mechanical motions of everyday life.
In warmer months, the morning goal is to get in and out of the gardens before the heat of the day hits. The moisture in the fog makes mornings chilly, but as the sun continues to rise, so do the temperatures. But the fog gives me a little extra time to just soak up the morning, sipping coffee and watching the world - dogs sniffing along the paths of nighttime visitors, chickens pecking at the feed I have tossed out for them.
Sometimes I just sit and sip my coffee, sometimes I walk the dogs beyond the yard, sometimes I just wander. There’s a large bullfrog living in the puddle out front where runoff water gathers, and the run-off puddle in the field is wriggling black with tadpoles who are sprouting legs. The doe has tucked her fawn on the island again this year, and even though I can’t see her through the fog, I can hear her wading from the island back to the mainland.
I know the fog doesn’t provide enough water for my plants, so I turn on the hose to add my own mist to the morning before trimming the spent blossoms from the Iris, noting the lilies are getting ready for their turn to bloom. Rabbits ate the early lettuce, and the deer enjoyed a good portion of the early peas, but the new fencing appears to have thwarted that practice.
By the time the fog clears, my mind has cleared as well, and I’m ready to tackle the day. Shedding my jacket, I work in the yard and the gardens until lunch, which is actually my breakfast, and only then do I check in on the rest of the world — the one beyond the fog and the hills around me.
These unplugged foggy mornings are a vast improvement over mornings plopped at my desk with my steaming coffee, starting my day with the dramas of social media and the worrisome world. I have now moments each morning where I plug into nature instead, where the circle of life continues regardless of man-made goals and games.
The time I previously spent “plugged in” digitally is now spent plugged into something else. I am connected to the valley, the fog, the Earth, the Universe. I’m connected with peace and patience and presence. I’m connected to my pets, soaked from dew-laden grasses, and to our land each time my feet or hands come in contact with the soil.
Humans are meant to be outdoor creatures. Our bodies, literally, are comforted by time outside. The sun feeds us Vitamin D, the exposure lowers blood pressure and anxiety. In fact, time outdoors, unplugged, can counteract the lasting detrimental effects of social media use.
Try to stay out of boxes this summer. Don’t spend the season immersed in a square digital screen, or your days inside an air-conditioned house all day. The mornings are cool still, the morning birdsong is comforting, and the fog brings magic and mystery, not memes.
And which would you rather spend time with?