Earlier this week, a dense fog settled in to all the nooks and crannies of the farm and fields, drenching the pussy willows to bedraggled little bits of fluff. Was Spring making a veiled debut? The robins, not used to a vegetarian diet, were singing trills at the softening and yielding earth.
I wanted to head out on a run but heeded the caution of both husband and son that visibility was poor and sat tight until there was some semblance of clearing mist. Then I put on my brightest jacket, tied up my shoes, and set out.
As my footfalls crunched on the gravel, it occurred to me that sometimes you can’t wait until all the fog has lifted before you start putting one foot in front of the other. The way before you may not be clear right to the horizon and still you decide to move forward, trusting that with each step, the next step will reveal itself.
Sometimes a fog rolls in with a vengeance and you can’t see diddly squat. It pushes up against the buildings and your chest, obscuring any beam of light you may try to shine into it – you can’t even inch your way forward, it’s so dense. Blindsided. A fog so smothering that even your eyelids have a hard time lifting.
All you can do is try to breathe. Fill those lungs with air and wonder how long it will last.
As I ran, I saw too the beauty in the mist. The cloaked bushes, fields that were swallowed up by mist, farms revealing shape and size but still somewhat hidden. It lended to a sense of mystery, created a subtleness that invited a closer look.
When I have been wrestling with things, my spiritual director will ask, “What is your invitation here?”. Here. Not when I’ve “arrived”. Not when I’ve sorted it all out. Not when all is resolved. Here.
Sometimes invitations get tossed into a drawer with little intent to RSVP. And frankly, sometimes we’re not invited – we’re not part of the party. That can smart a little – or a lot. Everyone else seems to have clear sailing while here you can’t see the lighthouse for the fog. But maybe, just maybe, even in that place there is a gentle invitation for you, for me. A beckoning that is yours, that is mine, alone. And there is not a cut-off date to that invitation.