Beneath a panoply of tall, towering pines
I stand, watching the cold gray fingers of evening fog
reach into my forest sanctum --
to steal glimpses of a distant sylvan meadow
and leave only a shadowy apparition
flickering in the moonlight.
Where once I viewed the beauty of pastoral splendor
and saw the green green grass of summer
kissed by the early evening dew,
nothing now remains
except that vague miasma of swirling clouds
mysteriously rising from the bosom of the earth
with those wispy filament-like hands
hungrily gobbling up the landscape.
Not satisfied with the mere oblivion
of all that surrounds me
that great greedy demon,
masked by ubiquitous vapors,
reaches high overhead
and surreptitiously snips out the distant stars
with the cat quickness of a burglar
spiriting away the night,
robbing me of those faithful steadfast beacons
that guide my nocturnal sojourns.
Thus, I stand
quietly waiting as those first icy entrails
encircle my being and impale me
with their damp frosty breath.
Yet I fell not cold,
nor do I shiver
as all that which is around me sinks
into a uniquely eerie state of euphoria,
and Mother Nature pulls her foggy blanket
once more across the landscape
and quiets the stirrings of her many creatures,
drawing them closer to her breast,
and providing them with the world’s most perfect
cloud of love.
And there I stand, the fool,
reveling at the majesty of this divine plan.
Why had I not seen it sooner?
But how could I?
I was always too busy,
too self-important, and too sure.
Who would have thought to take the time to look,
and see, and feel the awesome power of the earth
to provide for its own?
So it is with all our endeavors:
We so rarely take the time to look, and see, and feel.
Much is there for us to lament,
for our grievous faults are many.
Yet despite our abundant torture of nature
we abuse ourselves, and each other, even more.
Each day we walk through countless thousands of tiny fogs
springing from all of those faceless and nameless souls
we rub against; yet we refuse to acknowledge,
or attempt to understand these individuals,
hiding behind our mutual fogs of loveless pretense
as we scurry impatiently for tiny morsels of reward
and curse all delays to our expected tribute.
Oh, men. Foolish men!
We are all so preoccupied with the petty trivia of nothingness.
We must look at ourselves and our souls.
The next time there is a foggy night,
go take an aimless leisurely walk
through nature’s gray blanket of love
and listen to the restive quiet,
feel the comforting cool dampness,
and see the tender quiet gentleness which caresses the earth.
Yet that alone is not enough --
for, as you walk, you must also think of love.
And when you return from your excursion
it is not enough to shut the door on your experience
and hide it in your private inner room.
You must walk through life
with the same hesitancy
and caring timidness which characterized
your lonely trek through nature’s gray mist --
for, indeed, each person you meet
is similarly a fog --
an enigma wrapped in the loving
miasma of a unique self.
Perhaps, the most worthwhile service
we each can perform
is our brief visit to this planet
is to try to perfect the art
of seeing through our own (and each other’s) fog.
This task will not be easy,
and we must bring with us many tools:
there must be a generous supply of care,
a sincere empathy for complete understanding,
a steady and never failing capacity for trust
and, above all, an immense reservoir of patience.
Life Job, you shall find the burdens onerous
and the task often fraught with danger,
but the rewards are worth the effort and tribulation,
for you shall discover
the key to understanding the universe
hidden within the depths of your soul;
a mysterious and awesome key
that will unlock those barriers
which have prevented the spiritual communion
between your body and your soul,
and between one human being and another.
With this key, you can do anything.
For lack of a better word,
we often call it love.
Whenever you are reminded of the fog
think of love.
The earth does.
What is true for all the creatures of the land
is no less true for man.
is the earth’s way of saying