On a clear day, the meteorologist says there’s 10-mile visibility. Not that we can see 10 miles in most locations, but the sky is clear enough that there are no environmental barriers to our sight.
Many mornings, a dense fog devours the landscape, especially after rainstorms or when cool nights allow the moisture in the air to cool and settle to the earth’s surface. It takes the sun’s heat to warm the moisture and coerce it to dissipate into the atmosphere.
At first glance, fog is a limiter. It takes away our ability to see everything in our normal purview. Sometimes I cannot see my neighbor’s house across the street, or cars in close proximity on the highway. This can create dangerous situations if we are not cautious.
However, fog fosters focus. By naturally eliminating the things in our distant view, fog brings the things closer to us into sharper focus by simplifying what we can and cannot draw our attention to. In a world of clutter and distraction, this can be of benefit to us.
No billboards. No buildings in the distance. Just what’s right there in front of us.
When I am fishing on foggy mornings, I love how the world around me slowly transforms from an intimate and small space to the entire landscape, sometimes allowing the sun to appear as a faint disc in the sky before breaking out in all its glory.
But in those precious minutes before the fog lifts, you can really dial in on what’s right there: Me with my a rod and reel, and a stretch of river pinched off at both ends by hazy gray.
What a benefit to eliminate the clutter and allow us to focus on what’s really important. How can you use this natural phenomenon as a teacher for days when the sky is clear but your mind is not?
Photo Credit: Fog at the train bridge by Rich Gassen