On a Beach Walk: #55 (Fog)

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The morning is very foggy. As I walk, I feel an occasional mist. I see a wetness appearing on my glasses. Water collects and clings on my arms as a morning dew does on grass – but not as much as I recall from a prior year here on the coast.

The sand is smooth – unbothered by the extra low clouds. Besides, low tide was a short time ago. In many ways, it’s a good day for walking.

The thick fog seems to be keeping the birds grounded. The pelicans aren’t gliding by. The seagulls are absent – not even standing around on the beach. A sandpiper stands on one leg ahead – and hops away like a pogo stick as I approach.

The water feels good as it laps ashore and strokes my feet. Turning to look back, I notice that the buildings are difficult to see. Only their outlines faintly show, but I’m unable to count the floors. I wonder about spotting my turnaround point and my building when I return.

Thick fog is a metaphor for the unknown of what lies ahead. I imagine the Old World explorers making a journey across the ocean to an unknown land. The same feeling could be applied to the early astronauts or those trips to the Moon.

Fog is also a metaphor for a sense of my own mortality for I do not know what is in my future. Then again, none of us know what awaits un in the days ahead.

I forge ahead with my head more down than up. For whatever reason, my head rises and I notice my turning point. Somehow, the building is easy to see. Looking up I notice the sun appearing more like a moon behind a sheet of wax paper. Maybe the fog is about to clear. Maybe – or maybe not.

I change directions and soon feel a light glow from the sun warming the back of my neck – but as I look ahead – the thick fog remains – the feeling of mystery continues.

As my feet continue walking along the sand and occasionally in the water, the presence of birds remains minimal.

The location of our residence is unclear.

Fog is the gray between certainty and uncertainty. The unclear area between reality and the unreal. I’m on a moving line of the present that stands between the past and the future. Yes, the fog – a symbol of unclear thoughts and confusion – even frustration for some – but on this day, not me. I confidently trek ahead.

Later, with my back to the water, I stand looking at each faint outline of the buildings through the dense low clouds. A passer by asks if I’m trying to find my building, but I confidently define my location … then we laugh.

Because I’m near to my ending point, I return to the water’s edge for the remaining stroll. After all, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

27 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: #55 (Fog)

  1. That was the perfect tune for your post.

    As for fog and mist, I like those days every now and then. Just the same as I like rainy days now and then. I often think of London on days like that.

    I like how you use fog as a metaphor for the uncertain future, and I think your walk works perfectly to give us that effect . . moving forward into whatever lies ahead, having a certain destination and yet it’s shrouded in mystery.

    Gonna listen to the tune again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed your reflections on the beach fog, Frank. Heavy fog does shroud the surroundings in mystery and I like the way you tied in the question of what lies in the future. I’ve been musing on liminality for some time now, and fog is just one more way to illustrate that disorientation. I’m up for a beach walk anytime at all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this;
    I’m on a moving line of the present that stands between the past and the future. Yes, the fog – a symbol of unclear thoughts and confusion

    I love the places your mind goes on these walks Frank. I would say that your thoughts seem to have perfect clarity, vision and definition. Anything but foggy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked the ways you presented the presence of fog as an opportunity to see familiar things in a new light. I associate fog mostly with the ocean, valleys, and London, England, but also with the coming of fall. Speaking of fall, once I had a football game marching band show turn into utter chaos when a fog descended over the entire field just as the band stepped off to march its opening drill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      Glad you enjoyed this walk. To me, London and fog are so strongly linked, I intentionally left it out of this walk. Thanks for sharing your marching band experience with the fog … it must have been interesting for the people in the stands.


  5. My internet connection is slow (I’m running out of bytes) so I’ll have to come back and listen to Ella. I enjoyed the walk with you, Frank. I love walking in the fog and the sense of mystery it contains.

    Liked by 1 person

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