Mist and Mystery

Yesterday a thick fog framed our city.  North, south, east, and west: in all directions a gentle, yet persistent frozen mist softened the day’s light.  My maple trees shone with ice crystals; pine trees decked with diamonds wrapped around my back yard.  Hoarfrost left behind by that soft haze made me wonder whether I live in a dream.  Is this gentleness real?  Or am I imagining this beauty?  Who is behind this astounding gift so freely given?

Some of the indigenous people of this continent call the Creator of this wonder Kitchi-Manitou.  This name can be variously translated, but the two words point to a mystery, a fundamental anima that is great beyond all telling.  Many of these indigenous peoples assert that Kitchi-Manitou is everywhere.  Yet there are places where this divine presence is concentrated: here and there God is so present that people seek out these particular places to experience vision in times of trial and guidance in periods of perplexity.  Kitchi-Manitou is beyond manipulation, but still promises this mysterious divine presence at sacred sites.

On a day like yesterday, when I looked out over the trees poignant with white, I pondered how this mysterious mist serves as a parable of the mystery of God.  On my midday run, I could clearly see the path at my feet, yet further down the path the fog accumulated to dampen sight.  I knew that from a distance the place where I was and could clearly see would seem to be blanketed with the same thick mist that I only saw at the horizon.  And then, I looked over at the trees and there, the mist left a trace of its presence.  On trees’ twigs and evergreen’s needles the vapor deposited reminders of its presence.  Here and there, evidence of that earthen cloud made a mark that invited me to focus my seeing, so that all of my being might be touched by the mystery of mist.

Of course, this hoarfrost lasted but for a time; rather like a summer fog.  Only a moment is given for seeing this beauty that caresses the eyes; that stills the heart; that opens the ears.  But still this pregnant moment etches itself in my mind’s eye so that I ever see that heaven touches earth and leaves traces of its sanctity even here, on the branches of my back yard.

Kitchi-Manitou has visited my neighbourhood, and so I walk in this place now holy, in wonder as creation’s beauty arrests our propensity for cynicism, our predilection for ego, and our placation with prejudice.  The hoarfrost preaches a mighty sermon:  look for the holy, live with the whole, and give some space for mist and mystery in the imagination.

4 thoughts on “Mist and Mystery

  1. jannatwrites says:

    Nice background photo of the frost on pine tree. That mist sounds intriguing, My first thought was, ‘a photo would’ve been great.’ But there are just some moments that are so breathtaking, you don’t want to break the effect by grabbing a camera 🙂

  2. agjorgenson says:

    Glad you like frosty pine. Yes, i pondered a mid-post picture, but followed my gut against it. I think you name well my intuition’s source. Thanks for commenting.

  3. diannegray says:

    I’ve seen it and it is truly breathtaking. It makes us stop and have that ‘ah ha’ moment that we sometimes forget about in our busy lives.

  4. agjorgenson says:

    Yes, I find it interesting that in our car culture fog and mist demands that we drive slower, which in itself reframes our experience of the world.

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