Driving from Belfast, Maine back to Camden, I run into a sweep of fog. I’d been driving through full sunshine up until then. My car climbed and descended a small hill, and there it was: a white presence drifting over the hills and the road before me. The road is not a half-mile from the sea, so it makes sense. Still, a surprise.
Fog like this—not obscuring the road completely for the foreseeable future and so not striking fear in a driver—is a delight. Just enough white to be called fog and yet not enough to be perilous. Fog can be treacherous, but not today.
The fog is delicate, snowy, insubstantial; yet it’s there. I know it’s entirely water, yet, unlike water, how graceful and airy and white it is.
When fog moves, it often drifts, taking its good time, like a jellyfish being eased on by the current.
Sometimes, of course it stubbornly sits there, unmovable, the last person at the party.
The poet Marianne Moore writes about an ocean storm: “It is a privilege to see so / much confusion.” I think it’s a privilege to see this little world of fog. I bask in it.
After five minutes of driving, I’m through its presence and back in sunlight. Regrettably.
Was I seeing things?
Who knows why there was fog in just one short stretch of land and road and nowhere else? There’s a reason, of course. But I think if I knew that reason, the science that is, I’d be the less for it.
Leave me with my child-like wonder.