Monday, July 21, 2008

Reflections from a foggy morning

This blog entry will be a capella writing. Without the embellishment of photographs. A solo effort of words to carry the thoughts. To paint thoughts in words without pictures for a writer is very much as an artist restraining the working palette to black and white. I could sort through my collection of photographs to accompany these words. But the simplicity of the words on their own, this time seems right.

Have you ever awoken on a foggy morning to hear sounds carried from further away? Yesterday I could hear the train through the dew like it was down the street. There isn’t a rail within miles of here.

Do you ever think of what a miracle these softly drab mornings are that prelude the harsh heat? They are nature’s equivalent of the plain woman whose beauty unfolds quietly to those who pay attention. It is easy to appreciate the chamber of commerce bright blue sky days. It is easy to be enthralled by apparent physical beauty. But gifts are not just in what we see. It is in what we experience. The gift of fog is that by slowing the unveiling of the day, we are offered the opportunity of a fresh perspective of the everyday.

Beauty is more than visual. It is a fortunate person who understands that beauty is available to every sense God gave us, and appreciates this. Have you ever noticed how moist air is delicious? It is easier to breathe, filling the energy reservoir with vitality. When the lungs are filled in rolling deep breaths, it is easy to dream with childlike pleasure. Dry skin feels young and elastic.

The cawing of the jays and the tattling of the hummingbirds begins the morning symphony. The orioles do not need to herald their arrival. You can’t miss the bright yellow flash as they glide silently towards the feeders. In the August mid-morning warming, you can hear hear the dove arrive like the summer tourists they are. Their soft coo joins with the cackle of established local residents. The swallows get up late: probably with the insects in the afternoon heat.

The rest of the assortment includes some little dears known as tits. I understand some of them are great tits- which is why I can never join the Audubon Society. I could no more keep a straight face hearing that name than when the menu board in Hertfordshire included on the dessert menu something called a “Spotted Dick”. I did find the recipe for that cake in a book called Great Recipes of Britain. It is a very short book. Thank goodness for the French Revolution when all the employers of the chefs were being deposed of so Britain got some good food for a short while: or that book would have its growth stunted to a pamphlet.

These words were originally sent to one of those dear friends who cross our paths but a few times in this life. The kind you thank God for, you pray their well-being without being asked to, and when things aren't going well- you trust they pray for you, too.


Anonymous said...

For those who garden the morning fog, especially during the summer months, is a welcome friend. The magnified sounds that bounce around in very early, foggy mornings remind me of summers spent at Newport Beach long ago. The pounding of surf, the lapping of mini waves in the bay, the moaning of the marker buoys, slap of oars, chug chugs of the Marine Diesels propelling the fishing fleet bringing their catch up the bay to the canneries....

I became aware of the Audubon designated "tit" and "great tit" when my Sister lived in the boonies of Va, near Fredericksburg. We had many a laugh over that little bird. She lived on many acres and we made a game of identifying the visiting feathered friends in a field guide by Audubon.

I love the creative part of cooking, collect pre-50's cookbooks and became aware of "spotted dick" after a friend's visit to England. Found a "tinned" version one year at the LA Co. Fair when they had a British Isles weekend. Who wudda thunk it was a steamed pudding? Lots of laughter with that one as well. :)

Thanks for sharing a foggy morning and what it can say to all of us.


Anonymous said...

That was a good one even without pictures! I, too, have many times over the years wondered why it is that during the night I can hear that train whistle from Valley as if it were down on the 57 Freeway going past my house! I have never figured out WHY.
As for the description Edda gave at being at Newport Beach and the sounds you hear early in the morning, it reminded me of being up very early on a cruise ship! A great adventure that is in the early morning fog out on the ocean!!
I won't comment on the English tidbits you talked about. :):)
XO Trisha