Found in the Fog


After the Festival of Trees, I stopped by my brother’s and we headed out into Galway to have a drink with his boss. I’d never been to the Cock & Bull before, but the name sounded promising, and he said it was the perfect cozy Christmas spot, with a few roaring fireplaces and decent food. The ride out was along the winding way of Route 67, reminding me of the trips we took to see Gram in Hoosick Falls. We would not be going that far today, instead taking a left at the corner of the church and a Stewart’s shop. The day had turned foggy – very foggy – and the world slipped away, a bank of clouds on all sides of us, transporting us to another realm. Visibility decreased and seeing fifty feet ahead proved difficult.

Fog has always been a comfort to me. Walking to McNulty School as a kid, we would sometimes cut through the fields that separated our neighborhood from the school. In late Fall the fog would surround us, so thick and heavy that I’m amazed we didn’t lose our bearings more often than we did. As it was, we would often come out of the fields at a great distance from the school, having miscalculated our location and swerving slightly off course with nothing to guide us. On those mornings, the fog was a danger and a respite. It filled the in-between time, buffering home and school, and I was grateful for getting lost in it. At those moments, no one in the world could see us, no one knew where we were, and there was great freedom in that.

On this day, as my brother drove us through the back-roads of Galway, I felt the same thrill of being unseen and unknown. The fog closed behind us as we turned into a driveway I would have normally passed right by. A plume of smoke rose from a cozy-looking place, melting seamlessly into the sky and promising the warmth of a fire.

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