Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Coming out of the fog

We get in our car to drive to work one day, only to find ourselves driving through a thick layer of fog. We wonder "Where did this fog come from? Why didn't anyone tell me to expect it? What do I do?" We feel afraid, confused, uncertain. What we do know is that we don't want to drive in fog. It's scary and uncomfortable - we can't see what's ahead.

We feel out of control and like we are a victim to the fog. We keep driving, more slowly than usual. Then, we start thinking clearly and realize there are things we can do to deal with the fog. We can turn on the dehumidifier to clear the windows, flick on the wipers to rid the windshield of droplets of rain. We can see better now. We are still afraid, driving slowly, hunched forward, gripping the wheel; doing whatever we can to protect ourselves and get to work safely. We are tempted to stop by the side of road and wait for the fog to lift. We consider that for a moment, then we forge ahead. We breathe deeply. We are in the moment and feel what we feel. We allow the fear and anxiety to wash over us. We accept this new reality.

Then, as if by magic, we come out of the fog. The sky is a brilliant blue. The sun is shining brightly. The leaves are amazing shades of orange, red, and yellow. The world is crisp and the air somehow feels cleaner. This view that we see every day driving to work is somehow different. It's crisper, a sharper image, and stunningly more beautiful than we ever realized before. We are confused - what happened? Did the world change? No, we changed. We are glad for the fog, now that it is gone, for it has given us a perspective. This perspective is a gift. We have strength we didn't realize we had. We have ways of coping with what we thought was unbearable and tools in our toolkit we didn't even know were there (or were there and we had just never needed to use them). Perhaps someone was in the car with us, and we learned how to ask for help.

If we had a choice, we certainly would have taken the easier route, the one without the fog, the one with a clearer path that we know how to navigate. Or, we would have stayed in bed with the covers pulled up to our chin. But, we didn't. We got up and we did what we needed to do. We accepted that this is the path we are on. We can't force away the fog - it's there, and we have to deal with it. We have to keep going and believe that it will, eventually, lift.


wifey said...

Thank you for this - I've been struggling for a long long time to accept that this is my path and have been coming to terms with that fact recently. You, however, said it way better than I ever could.

Anonymous said...

I second "wifey"! Your writing is so beautiful, and while I am so sorry that you are able to write about this subject, I am also somewhat thankful - because you say the things I am thinking so much better than I can. Thank you for your strength and your wisdom... even if it is on a subject that none of us should ever know about!

Anonymous said...

Cynthia, I haven't visited your blog for awhile, and I was so surprised to read this post. I'll tell you why! LOL A couple of Saturday's ago, I left early to go speak at a walk in Illinois. The fog was terrible most of the way, but every once in awhile, it would "lighten" a bit, sometimes, the sun would be shining brightly through the fog, then I would once again drive into a thick fog. Maybe because I was on my way to a Share walk, I don't know, but the whole way there, I kept thinking of the fog in it's various thicknesses and swirls as being like grief. It took me nearly twice as long to go where I was going, and once I arrived, it was beautiful and sunny, with no sign of fog at all. I came home that day and started writing a blog post about it for Share, but have not been able to "finish" it the way I want to, so it sits...I do that a lot with my blog posts! I have probably 5 unfinished posts. LOL

I love the way you wrote this...it's a beautiful analogy.

((Hugs)) Cynthia. And I am looking forward to meeting you this weekend! :)

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