The Return of the Mist

08-19-2013 | Lindsay

This morning the mist returned. This time it didn't curl and wisp so much as descend and envelop. Not quite fog, still it was thick enough to wrap much in mystery. As everyone knows by now, mist is one of my favorite forms of the water element we have watched so persistently emerging from the rock wall. It's not wholly water though. Mist's essential trait is that it is neither water nor air; it is an in-between being.

Interestingly, mist imparts startling clarity to the things close in: the trailing purple edges of the hanging spiderwort plant, the determined curve of the hummingbird's head at the feeder, the nonchalant grace of the cat licking her paws in the green deck chair. While in the wild woods beyond, all is shrouded, quiet, waiting.

It was just what I needed this morning.

Several days ago, a fox got into the hen house. Scot came upon the scene when he went to close the door that night. The fox had attacked just at nightfall, between the time that the chickens returned to their roost and the door generally is shut to intruders. The fox had not gotten very far in the invasion before Scot arrived; however, two of the 15 or so chickens were lost. Later, Scot set a trap, baiting it with one of the deceased hens. He caught a raccoon.

Later that afternoon, some of us at the Pilgrimage went on a walk to find a rock Mary Ann had once seen that had water coming out from it. Though we had a lovely hike on the Perimeter Trail, over Krishna Brook and past the Hidden Waterfall, we never found the rock with the fountain. But as we walked we did receive a text photo from Scot and Linda, who had come across a rattle snake with no fewer than 11 rattles lying across the steps in the woods that lead up from Deer Spring Creek to the Retreat House.

While we have been in the Still Point living room telling the stories of wild men and meaningful encounters, reading poetry about fountains and horses in the kitchen, and singing our prayerful songs, whole worlds have been speaking: slithering, prowling, rustling and curling around us. Waiting for the conversation to continue.

Mist is a reminder that it is on the thresholds, doorways, atrium, in-betweens where worlds meet. In that sense, it is a water element not only of mystery, but also of encounter, and invitation. I wonder what we will hear today?