Fog by Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
The fog has been rolling in for the past few days, covering Edinburgh. It feels like we’re flying, like the city has been taken up into the cloud bank, like we should be able to look down and see all the little people. But of course that’s not what happened. The sky has fallen and the clouds have come crashing down and we can only see what is right in front of us.
Those are the things that are hardest to see sometimes. So often we’re focused on what’s far away, on where we hope to be, what we hope to be doing that we ignore our immediate surroundings. How often have I stared out of the library window at Arthur’s Seat and completely missed the way the cobblestones shine when they’re wet, or the way the still-bare branches stretch out like arteries?
There are buds on the branches and maybe the fog is bringing spring. The flowers are here already, pale purple crocuses and butter-yellow daffodils. The weather has not kept up, and short skirts and sleeveless dresses still seem months away. Spring is an awakening, but an internal one this year. A delayed one. An awakening that should have happened any other time, after any other winter, but this winter was different. Harsher than most I’ve faced, but still mellow.
Long and dark and cold, the fingers of the fog reach out to chill me, but they can do no worse to me than December did. December froze my bones. Compared to that, this is just an unexpected chill up my spine. A light shiver, forgotten as soon as it is over.