Thursday, January 28, 2010

Seeing In The Fog

In the Fog

One morning last March, I pulled aside the heavy draperies of our motel room window, hoping to see sunshine. Instead, I found a misty rain and light fog. “Fog again!” I said to my husband who stood before the mirror shaving.

We’d driven in fog the morning before when we set out from home to travel southeast, in hopes of finding a pocket of warmth during this winter month. As we crossed the hills of south central and southeast Kansas, we ran the gamut from a little fog to heavy curtains of it, blocking the view of the tallgrass prairie we normally enjoyed when driving this route.

I searched the road ahead for tail lights of any vehicles and the headlights of those approaching. At times, one would rise up from the fog, seeming to appear in only an instant. I watched the side roads, worrying that a truck or car would pull out in front of us before they realized we were there. Ken kept watch as he drove, and I offered one more set of eyes to help him. Fog frightens me almost as much as icy roads.

What upsets me the most on a foggy day is the number of people who drive through it with no lights on. “What kind of idiot drives in fog without any lights on?” I’ve repeated this statement on many an occasion, never receiving any illuminating answer, other than some smart remark from my husband.

We left the motel on this second morning of our trip, feeling relieved that the fog appeared to be very light. Euphoria lasted only a mile or two, as the arms of heavy fog wrapped around us and held on tightly, as though a lover who would never let go.

Sometimes we move through years of our lives fighting fog, never being able to see clearly to our goals. Writers need to set goals for themselves and move steadily through the light to attain them. Don't set huge goals. Start with the small things and work up to the bigger ones later. Move slowly through whatever fog is obliterating your way to reaching your goals and work on them a little at a time.


  1. Nice description and metaphor. I can just picture it, but I love Kansas, I made my kids go to Kansas and western MO last spring break, everyone else was going to Hawaii and Florida. They actually liked it, especially the Sage Inn and the Wizard of OZ Museum in Wamego.
    But I can't seem to get them to read "My Antonio" which really brings home the description of the plains.
    Being somewhat stranded in northern Minnesota for the last 15 years, I often use the metaphor of a blizzard and trying to keep a flame alive, in a similar way you write about the fog.

  2. What an analogy, Nancy. Driving in fog is one of those experiences that evokes miles and miles of panic and tension in me. I see writing is the same way! Brilliant comparison!