In this valley where our old farmhouse rests—the home of my dreams, beside the creek and tucked around the bend, between waves of placid range land…
In late autumn, through winter and early spring when seasonal rains soak the Sierra, heavy mist envelopes our drowsy town, painting the landscape in damp and gray.
This piece of Creation lies hidden under shadows of clouds, which settle in nooks and canyons of these California Gold Country foothills, blanketing oaks and granite, boulders and crags.
Obscuring the brightness of dawn.
Comfort comes after waking and busying and starting the work at hand. A wood fire in the stove warms our living space. The faint fruity-chocolate steam from the Preacher’s pot of coffee rouses my senses.
On days at home lamplight presses against cold glass, keeping the gloom outdoors.
Resident cats in winter’s fur curl up on the front porch or in the massive tree nearby.
Some days remain shadowed. Escape comes only by driving up the mountain. To emerge above the fog.
Reaching the pass, melancholy fades and oppression lifts as sunlight peers through shadowy fringes of vapor.
Ahh… Light floods earth’s contours with morning, having already arrived moments before in full array, chasing fog away. The glowing orb radiates against azure sky.
But only those living above the fog can see.
Other times when day breaks, distant clouds glow as morning rises beyond the shadows. Replacing night with all that shines, the new day’s welcome.
This is the day God made… rejoice!
Behind me, mist lurks still. Tiny droplets of swirling dew fill the air with activity. Fog is not stagnant. Headlight beams turn spotlight on their dance. Objects only yards away loom in ethereal vagueness.
Between the Sierra and California’s coastal range the golden valley sits hidden, beneath an ocean of fog. Hilltop islands peek through as cotton tufts drift above land-locked mist.
Faith flounders in the sea of doubt. And fear hovers in that eerie pea-soup space between daylight and descended gloom, while trees and houses and oncoming vehicles appear out of nowhere and on just the other side of tangible.
When mists of depression surround me, as apprehension threatens belief, I must push my soul above the haze and out of the shadowed land. To bask in the warmth of daylight. To know the benefits of His goodness, bestowed anew.
And I must remind myself, and others flailing, no matter how dismal the landscape, even in heaviest fog, a place does exist where nothing obscures promised Light.
Where no depth of darkness blocks completely Truth or Good or Right.
Where golden rays of Hope stretch on to a day called Eternal.