I find myself between stages in various ways, these days. As I am sure you have seen, being between fishing seasons is a significant issue for me, even with fly tying to keep my mind and hands busy. At work, I am in the midst of the most chaotic part of the year, as it has been for eight years in a row for me, but this year, just to make it more interesting, my company has been acquired by a larger competitor, and providing the level of service my client expects becomes harder, as resources in the field find alternative employment while the integration is still incomplete. Troubling, but not altogether that bad, when one steps back and remembers just where such things fit in the larger picture.
For the past week or more, we have had reoccurring rain, fog, freezing temps at night, and all the other signs of the impending winter. As much as I would have to admit that the weather is a large part of what prompted us to leave the Seattle area…I also have to admit that I have always loved fog, rain, and especially thunderstorms.
When they are the exception.
It was after two winters in Seattle, while traveling through Kansas for work, that I pulled off to the side of a dusty, rural highway, just to watch a front come towards me, with massive lightning strokes, distant thunder, and the wall of clouds running from North to South, to the horizons. In that moment, I realized that what drove me crazy about the endless months of drizzle was that it was not punctuated by anything more interesting or exciting.
Enough of that. We now get all four seasons, in proportion, and some really nice thunderstorms on occasion.
So, what do these threads share? Where do they intersect?
In the fog. Or, at least, at the edge of it.
Some of my favorite memories as a small child (now I’m a grown child, of course. One does not lay claim to more than that, in all honesty.) involve those early mornings or late afternoons when the fog would rise and shroud the world around us with flowing, undulating…nothing. At least, one can imagine that this is so. I recall one exceptional evening, when the student-faculty housing complex that we lived in for several years had a fog rise that drew a stronger curiosity than normal. I walked in it for at least a couple of hours before finally coming to the one hill in the complex that was large enough to actually sled on, in the colder months.
As I climbed that hill, trees gradually materializing before me or fading into nothing behind me, I passed through the top of the sea of mist, and the view took my breath away. It was as if I had passed into a wholly different world, where all that was troubling, uncertain, or concerning had spontaneously clarified itself. For a guy in his early teens, with an interest in fantasy and science fiction literature, this was a wonderful and imagination-stirring evening. I do not recall how long I stayed, or even which route led me there or back. It is the few minutes of passing through that veil that is the most clear, while the rest has, perhaps, been reclaimed by that mist.
The message that it managed to impart, however, remains. As we walk through those things in life that might be uncertain or unclear, one should remember to simply have faith that the answer is already there. You just need the right perspective and the willingness to look for it. Until then, enjoy those things you can perceive about you, and keep moving forward.
You never know when you will find the edge, whether it be on the side or clearing the top.