Carl Sandburg once penned a poem about fog, stating that “fog comes on little cat feet…” The imagery here is amazing, as the reader can almost see the fog, in feline form, looking out over the harbour after creeping in on its furry little paws. I love to think about fog in this way, but not merely because of its poetic-ness. It actually has more to do with the fact that I’ve never seen fog creeping along on little cat feet. Here, in the North Country, the fog does not creep. It rolls in, like dense waves on an ocean of clouds, covering the entirety of the landscape in one fell swoop, in a thick, pea-soup type of blanket. It also seems to flow over the land en force when the nights are beginning to become very cool, and Old Man Winter is just waiting for the right moment to cross the threshold of Autumn and take over its residence. I have often wondered if this fog was Mother Nature’s wy of pretending Mr. Winter isn’t at the door; like she’s taking her thick blankets and pulling them up over her head to try and get a just a few more days of sleep before she has to get up and endure the cold. I think this latter image is one which is easy for me to see, for now that the nights are getting colder, and I’m feeling Winter tapping on my window, all I want to do is pull the blanket up over my head and stay warm in my bed until Spring. I’m certain Mother Nature feels the same way.
At any rate, our first blanket of fog of the season arrived early this week, after a particularly chilly night. And apparently the blanket was still pulled over Mother Nature’s head as I pulled out of the driveway to go to school. I’d love her job…she gets to sleep in whenever she wants, it seems. But, it covered everything, completely. It took me 15 minutes to get the car warmed up enough to dispel the murkiness from my fog covered windshield, so I could see the road well enough to drive. And even once I had banished it, I had to keep turning on my windshield wipers in order to enforce the banishment, for the fog kept trying to take over, again. It still permeated the landscape once I arrived at school, which gave the campus an eerie appearance…I couldn’t even see the buildings on the far side of the quad.
It was so thick, the numerous flocks of geese flying overhead from the river across the street were heard, but not seen. They weren’t even remotely visible, since they chose to fly over the blanket which covered the North Country.
And this is why I can’t relate to Mr. Sandburg’s image of a Feline-esque fog, that creeps in slowly, takes a look around at the scenery, and then moves on. But I would like to see it, someday. Maybe I’ll sit down with it, and look over the harbour, seeing it through it’s cloudy eyes.