Monday, March 26, 2007
Dogs in the Fog
This morning I got up and as is our habit at 5:30 in the morning, my dogs and I went for a walk.
I often don't want to do this, especially when it's dark. I'm a woman. It's not right for a woman to walk alone in the fog. On occasion we pass a solitary jogger (rather, the jogger passes us), this poor soul likely as unwilling as us to be out there.
Yet it must be done; I don't have a fenced yard and the dogs need to do their business. I confess that if I had a fenced yard, the dogs would be left to their own for awhile, and I long for those days. I'd likely get at least an hour more sleep.
But it is not to be; so this morning we headed out into the dark and fog.
The fog was so thick I was actually surprised. I always watch the news in the early mornings, but I did not really understand what they were saying. This fog was REALLY THICK!
I could barely see a few feet in front of me. As we entered a nearby park, I remember having to look down so as to actually see where I was placing my feet, not entirely certain we were walking in a straight line.
I said a prayer to my Guardian Angels and my personal Saints, asking for their intercession and protection; there was something about this morning that contained more oppression than just the closeness of the clouds.
Sometimes we all have to walk through this kind of fog. Sometimes we can't see the next step before us, even if we have traveled this path a thousand times before. It is one thing in broad daylight; it is entirely another when we are surrounded by darkness and confounded by the fog. We cannot see any obstacles, although common sense tells us they are there. We cannot see a thing, yet we are being pulled in all directions while trying only to stay on course.
The spiritual life is like this, but it is in the darkness that God can speak most clearly. The hinderances are removed from our perceptions, our senses are cleared, and we cannot help but strive for understanding in lieu of what we no longer have at our disposal.
This morning, as we began our return trip home, the fog was lifting, and with it the heavy oppression of moisture around us. A hint of light was appearing in the east, a promise of sunrise although it made no discernable difference in the landscape we had to cross.
Yet there was hope; the sunrise would come, and with it, a new perspective.
Just as we crossed the last street near home, a heady floral aroma enveloped me. I sniffed, recognizing lilacs...and roses. Here in Minnesota, while green is beginning to peek through the soil, it is far too early for flowers to bloom. There was nothing to cause such a scent in such darkness and fog. So I inhaled deeply, thanking God for the promise not only of the sunrise, but the companship of the Angels and the Saints as I arrived home safely once again, having passed through the darkness of the hours before dawn.