Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The World in White

I've always loved fog. You have to, if you're going to enjoy life in Oregon's Willamette Valley, where I spent most of twenty years. Then, as now, I lived atop a hill. Autumn mornings often found our house perched upon a sunlit island with a sea of mist spread out below, pierced here and there by a shark fin of towering evergreen.

Our latest fog at In the Night Farm was accompanied by freezing temperatures that lingered for days and turned the world white with hoarfrost. Every branch and wire bristled with shards of ice, and seedheads drooped beneath the added weight.

I rode twenty miles on Sunday, shrouded in goretex and fleece and stillness. Aaruba's boots muffled his hoofbeats on the gravel. An occasional train whistle echoed weirdly. Unseen dogs barked from afar. Hardly a car passed. No one stirred outside the farmhouses whose yellow interiors glowed like nebulas in the mist.

I've lately been enraptured by Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. It was easy, out there on the lonesome roads, to squint into the pale diffusion of daylight and believe in English soldiers on the moor near Culloden; to grip the reins, afraid; to take a ragged breath and canter on with ghosts in chill pursuit.

This is what I love about fog: It is imagination made tangible, vapor cupped in gentle hands, the world concealed, the mind released.

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Kessira said...

I can picture this perfectly, and what a lovely, striking photo.

girasol said...

I love foggy days! The silence, the mystery, the coziness. I used to walk to school as a kid, and part of my route took me past a college art department where there were all these big abstract sculptures along the path. I always loved that part when it was foggy! Very sci-fi.

Andrea said...

This blog is awesome! You are truly a gifted writer.

Lori Skoog said...

I agree....your writing style is very special. Excellent post.

Simrat said...

Well, I still live in the Willamette Valley. :) And it's been full of lovely, vaporous fog all week. I drive home from the barn in the dark, in my cocoon of headlight glow. Sometimes it's enough to have to use my wipers; really more like low lying clouds. We get to live in the clouds, while still having our feet on the ground...


Shana said...

That is a lovely photo and I can hardly call that fog. We have thick fog here now and it is none too pleasant.

Tamara of In the Night Farm said...

Thanks so much, Andrea and Lori! :-)

True, true, Shana -- I swear we had real fog most of that day -- the serious kind, where you can't see to drive. I like it for riding...for driving, not so much.

Donna said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I will be back. Lovely images, both the photos and the ones you had me conjuring up in my head.