Fog has always felt mysterious and magical to me. It makes me happy, perhaps because with my active mind, the limits to visibility create welcome relief, a forced respite.
The first time I visited the state of Washington, it was covered in fog. As I was driven along the highway, my friend, Rachelle, would say, “Right over there you usually can see a brilliant view of Mt Rainier.”
No sense pouting.
I looked to my right and saw white. I tried to imagine the mountain in my mind’s eye. I gave up and released a feeling of disappointment trying to creep in on my happiness. No sense getting in a pout about something over which only God has control.
A new understanding of omnipresence.
As a child, I was taught in religion class that God is everywhere. Our teacher introduced big words like omnipotence and omnipresence. I understood the concept, but being a literalist and unable to “see” Him anywhere left the idea like a tree house without steps to climb up to it: lofty but unusable.
When I walk in a thick fog, however, I have an almost tangible sense of God’s presence all around me. The fog symbolizes His omnipresence. I can feel its droplets on my hair and clothing. I can see its movement in sheer undulating layers hovering above what little grass and trees I can make out. My eyes strain to see what is no longer visible. Soon they adjust to not being able to see much and relax in the gentle mist surrounding me. It feels like communion with creation.
“Through Him, with Him, and In Him” become more clear in the fog.
The first seven words to the liturgical preface to the Mass’ Great Amen waft into my consciousness.
Through Him, with Him, and in Him
in the unity of the Holy Spirit
all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father,
forever and ever. Amen.
Through Him. Walking in the mist feels like walking through God. Through His grace. In a timeout from the rush of life.
With Him. The fog gives me a sense of His imminent Presence. He feels close with me.
And in Him. On an ordinary walk, feeling myself in God seems like fish knowing they’re in water. It’s so ordinary that nothing seems unusual or noteworthy on which to focus. Fog has a dimension to its essence. Even the air breathed through the nostrils feels different. Sound is muffled. All senses are alert to something different, untouchable, non-threatening.
“You see, I’m here with you always,” it seems to whisper, “in the air, touching your face, your eyelashes, your lips. “
Fog speaks to my soul. It becomes quiet and peaceful within it. When I walk in fog, it feels like I’m walking in God.