A heavy fog shrouded nearly all of Austin this morning. The radio announcer reminded drivers to be cautious, and then recited a list of accidents already attributable to the weather. Limited visibility for drivers is a relatively new hazard, but the phenomenon of fog has been a source of mystery long before high speeds automobiles.
Fog changes perception. Sharp edges are blurred. Vistas are shrouded. Colors muted and light filtered and dispersed. Inevitably, the fog forces us to work harder to focus, to perceive. We associate the fog with the specter of the deceased. We connect fog to sprites and trolls, ghosts or spirits who come at strange times and places haunt the normal world.
I used the fog this morning as an excuse to take a walk. The air was damp and hanging, reinforcing the morning chill. The contrasts, dark to light, were more pronounced. And I felt both a comfort in the close feeling of the heavy air around me, and a sense of awe and mystery watching the soft images all around me. No ghosts or other worldly encounters, but I felt connected in a new way to my familiar surroundings.