The Oregon winter is covered up by fog. As I drive the road in front of me winds out of focus and into dense cloud mist. I must concentrate carefully on the path directly in front of me.
Patches of growth poke through occasionally, revealing hazelnut trees and red barns. It could even be sunny, beautiful beyond all this, but all I am to focus on now are the etched road lines falling through white softness.
I become mindful of my immediate surroundings. This moment, these things that exist here with me, we are united by the fact that we can see no further than us, the small patch of light we exist in and the smoke of the morning that holds us here, pulling one inch into view as another falls away behind.
I am thankful for the fog. When I can see the land in its vastness stretching before me, I tend not to live as richly in the beauty immediately encircling me. I overlook the present. Seeing the crisp outline of my destination makes me goal oriented. It takes away from the moment I am in right now. I see this moment as a stepping stone to move me to the future, not a complete and perfect point of arrival in and of itself.
With or without the fog, I can choose to come alive in these moments. The ones that feel like their purpose is solely to get me to point B. And it's actually very important that I do come alive in these moments, because they are my life. They present one more chance in which I can find myself living. If I am not alive in the present, then when am I?
This is why I am in love with the Oregon fog. It reminds me that no matter where I'm headed, the beauty of the present moment is where I currently live, however fully I may choose to reside there. I can allow the present to captivate me or I can barrel through it as a means to an end I can't even see yet.
The fog helps me practice that encapsulation of what is near me, what is breathing along with me in my here and now. It helps me hold precious any bubble of imagery my periphery frames in soft blur. I am left to trust the curves of the road just feet in front of me, tuning in to the calm intuition of the present moment. The fog dissolves the future in its mist, allowing the separate beauty of the destination to appear when it will.