A thick layer of fog fills the folds in the hills behind me, like blankets rolled up to keep out the draft. Morro Rock is gone from my view, though I know it is standing somewhere behind the stretch of gray that rises higher than the Los Osos hills. Across the creek, the fog settles over the buildings on Ocean Avenue like the puffy white clouds you see out of an airplane window and I can barely make out the shops and the cars parked on the street.
Sounds are louder, while, at the same time, everything seems more still.
I remember a time in my life when I felt like my whole world was engulfed in this kind of thick unseeing fog. It was unsettling, disorienting, anxiety producing.
Because I was trying to move through it.
I was desperately wanting to not to be in the uncomfortableness that I was feeling, the sense of being lost, the place of not knowing.
But the more I tried to push through, the harder it was to see.
Until I stopped trying and was able to be with the discomfort, sit with the feeling of not knowing, relax my whole being into the gray that was all around me.
We’ve all experienced a time in our lives when we have felt lost. Undirected. Uncomfortable not knowing what’s next. Our tendency is to run, make a plan, rush toward something, anything that is more comfortable than sitting still.
But often, staying, sitting, being with the not knowing is the only way to discover what’s next.
These days I love the fog because it is a visual call to be still. The fog reminds me that this is not a time to navigate a new path, but to look inside, to see the things that are unseen.
One of my favorite children’s books, which I didn’t read until I was an adult, is Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. It is a story of time travel and good versus evil and it is filled with wisdom and life lessons. One of the themes is to look for the unseen, like music, joy, and love.
These same wise words come from Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s The Little Prince, when he tells his friend, “”One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
When we are in this hazy, foggy space of not seeing our paths clearly, we tend to panic. We think we are lost because we cannot see our way through.
But if we allow ourselves to relax into the stillness, it becomes a gift, a quieting where we can hear our heart beat, where we can turn our attention to the things unseen.
By sitting still, looking and listening inward, we may realize we aren’t lost at all. In this quiet haze of seeing the unseen, we are, in fact, just coming home.
I’d love to hear how you see the unseen, how you find ways to be with the fog. Please share by clicking on the Comments below.
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