Beautiful Obfuscation: Looking through fog toward joy

It is winter well and good here in Surfside Beach, though spring is not far away. The dunes have gone rustic and withered. Shorebirds limit their activity and gather in large groups of one-legged figurines, beaks into the wind. The sea oats have been stripped bare and are nodding sleepily at the calm water in cold offshore breezes. The beach is visited by scant vacationers.

This 2019-2020 winter has been mild thus far. A fistful of blue northers dropping temps from 70s to 30s but no freezing nights. No ice or snow (though snow is a rarity here anyway). No long stretches of mind-numbing cold. My Raynaud’s Syndrome has been mostly quiescent – a sure sign of a mild winter.

Fog season has begun, if haltingly. On still days when the north winds fall away and the Gulf Stream dominates the climate, the mix of cold earth and warm air swaddles the island in these ground clouds. It is beautiful if damp – the house becomes soaked with the saturated air and the steady drip drip drip from eaves and siding onto decking and the earth below is as peaceful and persistent as a gentle rain.

As beautiful as it all is, truly warm days seem light years away. The brightness and clatter of high season is only three months in the future at most, but this cold, foggy obfuscation can give the sense of slowing down time and clogging the mind. The occasional, mournful foghorn of a cargo ship heading out to sea is brief disruption and relief.

Sometimes this time of year feels unchanging, as if the sun won’t ever burn his way through that thick water vapor again. But it does change. One merely needs to accept and enjoy the days dripping by and be patient. Soon all that fog that has watered the dunes like tears will have set them up to burst open with color and joy again.

5 thoughts on “Beautiful Obfuscation: Looking through fog toward joy

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  1. Our lives, much the same as nature, are a series of looking through fog toward joy. Every living thing has its seasons, spring will always be reborn.

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    1. (nodding) That’s something I have to keep telling myself. There’s a song by our dear Amos “So may I remind you, love
      What is inside you, love
      The whole world is turning black
      The springtime is sunshine,
      The flowers grow back”


  2. Fog season’s beautiful, and you’ve described it well. Still, it’s a horror for me when it comes to working — varnishing boats in the fog is a non-starter! I’m heading down to the Bluewater highway this afternoon, just to see what I can see. I had quite a surprise at work this week. I found comb jellies in a marina on Clear Lake. When I called the Galveston Bay Foundation, they said the currents have been carrying them this direction, although they’re being spotted in the Gulf. It would be wonderful to find some along the beach, especially since they don’t sting.

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    1. I can imagine! It’s also spooky when trying to travel around the island. Always gets me when I cross the bridge and “poof” no fog.

      We swam through comb jellies a couple of years ago. The strangest sensation. A bit like swimming through unset gelatin, I imagine. Very soft and almost comforting because they actually buoy you up. But that’s how thick they were. Oh, someday it will happen again and I’ll do a better job of describing it. Very cool.


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