It’s almost like there’s an anti-summer going on here in Chicago.
For the past week, a dense layer of fog has settled over trees and roadways, obscuring the sun, stilling the winds, and sending cool wisps of moisture across my face.
It’s bizarre seeing everything masked in a calm, chilly coat of off-white.
It makes me wish that things were draped in fog all of the time.
It’s late June, nearly July, and yet I’m still wearing socks to bed.
And when I wake up in the morning and glance out the window, there it is, wafting, drifting, cooling, gathering…
…waiting to greet me.
All photos by G.
On Saturday, it was 80 degrees and I played tennis outside. On Sunday, a thick wave of fog rolled in from Lake Michigan, enshrouding buildings, coiling around trees and lampposts. Then last night it started snowing. Flurries in the middle of April? There’s no such thing as strange weather in Chicago.
I find fog delightful. There’s something comforting about its haziness; you get the sense that you can hide among the closely-packed water droplets. It also reminds me, however vaguely, of when I lived in California. Sometimes the fog would get so thick that you could barely make out the houses across the street. And once, when driving home in Illinois, a fog storm rolled in, and I had to concentrate on the bright yellow line on the side of the road to avoid succumbing to the mist.
If you’re not referring to the weather, “fog” takes on another connotation–one of bewilderment, confusion, and uncertainty. But that’s not how chilly mist makes me feel; if anything, fog has a clarifying effect on my mind. Perhaps it’s because you have no choice but to pause and wonder at the whipped vapor that calmly diffracts the light, casting a gentle pallor over everything. Fog is a break from sunshine, from rain, from snow and sleet and storms.
And so there I am, staring out over Lake Michigan, breathing in the drizzled air and wondering where lake meets sky.
All photos by G.
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
“Fog” by Carl Sandburg. From Chicago Poems, 1916.
I took these photos in early December, but waited to share them until another foggy day rolled by.
Blizzard on Monday, dense fog on Thursday. What weather will the weekend bring?