Monday, December 8, 2008

Coming out of the Fog

Two weeks ago tonight we drove to Eugene through thick fog to pick up Ryan for a Thanksgiving visit. He was due in a little before 9 pm. When I went into the airport to use the (ahem) facilities, I heard over the loudspeaker that his flight couldn't land because of the fog. It was so thick that I was quite sick to my stomach, like a one hour rollar coaster ride, blind.

His flight was rerouted to Portland. Todd's first instinct was, "My kid isn't going to sit in an airport all night" and off we drove for another 2 hours north. I was so miserable, so sick. The fog didn't relent until we had almost reached the Portland airport. The difference was remarkable, the visual clarity such a relief. Nausea subsided.

By now it was after midnight, with a three hour drive home ahead of us. As satisfying as it was to have my three sons safely in the van behind me, as we reentered the fog, the nausea returned full force and all good feelings disappeared. Rats - another three hours of this? I tried closing my eyes and eventually dropped off into nausea-free oblivion.

Yes, we arived safely home at about 3:00 am, stumbled into bed and moved on with life.

Tonight I began driving through the dark to see my wonderful counselor and was quite displeased to realized that thick fog was moving in. Sure enough, I began to feel the queasiness. Then, around a corner, the fog simply disappeared. The clarity was remarkable, the relief huge.

Then, coming home, the fog was thick for the entire trip. Queasy, nauseous. Until I arrived at the top of my mountain, where clarity returned.

Never one to miss an analogy, I realized that's what life has felt like for a really long time, like I was in a fog. Some times the fog was thicker than other times, sometimes I simply couldn't see one step ahead of me. Sometimes frustration was the uppermost emotion, sometimes anger or irritation, often just - immobilization. Indifference. Sometimes my energy was consumed surviving each day.

Right now it feels as though the fog has lifted. I am thinking sharply, full of energy, calm, relaxed. It's like somehow life makes better sense. I'm glad for the clarity of this quiet space, but I don't fool myself that the fog won't ever return.

So what do I take from this? That fog comes and goes. Maybe the more I learn, the longer my head will be clear next time. That I'm not alone in the hard things of life. That joy comes from God, not works. That what is important is trusting God and loving well, both myself and others.

No comments: