Saturday, January 17, 2009

Around the Bend

I awoke to beautiful sunshine Friday morning. Such a nice change from the arctic blast and snow of last month. When I opened the blinds and took a closer look outside, I saw the trees and driveway were covered with frost.

A little later I jumped in the car and headed to town to do my Curves workout. As I pulled onto the highway I noted the countryside was covered with white, but it wasn't snow. It's what we call pogonip, which I think is a Native American word for the icy fog that sometimes forms and encases the trees and each individual blade of grass with a frozen grip. Two curves later I entered a fog bank. Where was the sun? It had been streaming in my eyes just moments before.

For the next 16 miles I drove through the thick cloud, unable to see more than a few yards ahead of me. I got to Curves, did my my exercise routine, and headed to the grocery store. About two blocks from the store the weather changed yet again, and snow covered the ground. It fell against my face as I walked into the store, covered my windshield by the time I returned to my car. I retraced my way home, my headlights straining against the dense fog. Suddenly I burst out into sunshine and blue sky, but with the pogonip still painting the countryside ice-crystal white. The contrast of the icy trees against the azure sky was phenomenal. If I'd had a camera with me, you'd be looking at that beautiful winter scene right now.

My simple journey made me think of my life. I wake up in the morning having no clue (no, don't stop the sentence there!) of what will happen that day. Of what will be around the next bend in my life. I may be walking in sunshine one moment, then suddenly halted by dark circumstances that surround me, making it hard to see more than a few steps ahead. And when I think it can't get any worse, it does! Then there are those times when the pogonip and blue skies come together, the harsh realities of life mixed with the hope of more luminous days ahead.

I'm reminded of the verses from Isaiah 42 where the Lord says,"I will lead the blind along a way they never knew; I will guide them along paths they have not known. I will make the darkness become light for them, and the rough ground smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not leave my people." What a great promise to hold on to, no matter what the weather in your life.


Robin Johns Grant said...

What a great story! It reminded me of a scene in one of the Chronicles of Narnia books, The Horse and His Boy. The boy finds himself walking along a path through just such a thick fog. Even worse, he thinks he hears a lion near him in the fog and is scared witless. Later, he meets Aslan and discovers he was the lion in the fog--and that Aslan was standing between him and a sheer dropoff on that mountain path, which he couldn't see in the mist. Sounds a lot like your analogy! How often is God there in the fog, protecting us from what we can't see?

Anonymous said...

Your description reminds me of the scene where Ralphie wakes up on December 25th in "A Christmas Story" to see the trees glistening in a dense hoar frost.