Thursday, September 06, 2007
Sometimes I actually leave the mountain, though (except for work) I still rarely leave the forest. Last evening I left the mountain to head down to Pinchot Lake, just a few miles from the cabin. I was looking for signs of fall down around the lake, but the only things that really showed fall colors were the colors of these canoes along the lakeshore.
This morning at the cabin I am engulfed in fog. Fog makes the landscape around me seem mysterious, perhaps even a bit dangerous. My footsteps sound louder. Forest noises travel further, enhanced and sometimes distorted by the fog. Outlines of familiar trees and surroundings are obscured in the fog, making the mountain feel like a different place than the one I see every day. Poets write entire poems about fog, and more poetic metaphors exist about fog than just about anything else I can think of. In Nova Scotia the imminent arrival of the Fundy Fog is reported and tracked on the local radio stations ("get your clothes off the line now, the fog will be here in 45 minutes").
This morning’s fog at Roundtop is even more unusual and mysterious than is typical. Overhead, the sky was clear. I could see the stars and the last quarter moon clearly. But the top of the mountain and the next mountain to the west were invisible. They may as well not have been there at all for all I could see. Fog changes our perspective and makes the familiar seem strange. It’s a bit like taking a trip to a new place without leaving the old one. So this morning I find myself in unfamiliar territory, though I haven’t left the old.