TWICE THIS WEEK I'VE AWAKENED TO A COMFORTING FOG. The grey blanket muffles the landscape, and we can't see past the clothesline. It feels like the world has disappeared, leaving only domestic concerns. The shroud lends an intimacy to the yard, and tiny droplets of water hang in the air and hit me with their coolness as I walk out to the aviary to carry food to the chickens. I know this fog will burn off in a few hours, but I enjoy how it softens the landscape and brings everything closer, shrinking my world. I feel protected.
The illusion won't last and by the time I drive to town for work the fog has lifted, but caught in the roadside weeds I see thousands of spiderwebs, floating discs hanging from sprays of goldenrod and seed heads of grasses. The spiral patterns are made visible by the dew beading each thread. They sway gently in the wind, and I remind myself to keep my eyes on the road, but I am mesmerized and continue to steal glances at the bejeweled garden as it slides by.
I get to town a little later than usual, and have to drive further from campus to find parking. That's okay. I discover a new route through a neighborhood thick with hostas under the shade of elderly trees. I find a yard that is all garden, bordered by roses with beds of vegetables in the center: tomatoes and chard and cucumber frames and raspberry canes. It has a cheery sign that says: EAT YOUR YARD! I decide that this gardener is my hero. I pass another yard that is really an orchard; pears and apples litter the sidewalk, and I hope the owner won't mind that I picked up two apples, one yellow and one red, for my lunch today. Plenty remain on the trees, and even on the sidewalk. They were both bruised from their fall, but delicious. Tart, and full of sunshine. Maybe one morning I'll knock on the door and ask permission to collect the windfalls for apple butter.