The Futility of Fighting Fog

By Matt Mittan

Enjoying the blunted scenery, while paddling across Lake Junaluska in the fog, during an episode of Matt & Michele OutdoorsBy Matt Mittan.

Let me start by saying that I find the heavy quiet and low visual range of fog to be quite relaxing. But then again, if I’m out on the water it’s usually in a canoe without any noise except the occasional tap of my rod resting back onto the yoke across the center of my canoe, or the accidental thud of my paddle against the sidewall of my boat. I suppose, to people in a larger craft, that are used to moving much faster and require more depth to navigate, fog can be at the least, a frustration and at the most, a dire concern.

I look at ground clouds as nature’s pause button on human busyness. Thick fog, which can pop up around our region of the country this time of year, depending on stubborn fronts sneaking under the cold weather push of the Ohio Valley’s shared Canadian air, can look like large blankets of cotton, or like someone in the heaven has walloped a huge helping of cool whip on the fields and valleys where water rests or flows. Sometimes, it will come to rest along just the top halves of engulfed ridgelines.

I also suppose that people who have very important business and goals to attend to can grow rather impatient with fog. After all, when you need to get from Point A to Point B in a specific window of time – something like not being able to see more than 100 feet in front of you can kind of hinder your progress. But I think that’s the point, because everything in nature has a point. Fog forces us to slow down, to dial in our senses on our surroundings more. You could just blaze forward, recklessly, and hope that you don’t get into any serious accidents. But your luck will run out. Better to take your time and be intentional. Connect with your environment, closely.

If you’ve read my column over the years, then you already know that I’m not just talking about being on the water, walking a ridge line, or driving down a country road. I’m talking about life in general. We all encounter a good share of fog in our lives, whether it be uncertainty in our careers, finances, health, or even relationships. It can be hard to see what lies ahead. Obstacles can spring up on you with little to no notice if you move too fast during times of fog.

Like in nature, so too is the reality in our daily lives…When you encounter thick fog, slow down. Dial in your senses to your surroundings. Listen closely for small sounds to help point you toward a shore or away from danger. Be intentional with each gentle move. The fog will pass. It always does. So lean into it as an opportunity to relax your pace. Nature always points our way to living more harmoniously, if we will just listen to its advice. Welcome the chance to slow down as needed, an occasional friend rather than waste any energy in the futility of fighting fog.

Matt Mittan is the Owner of BizRadio.US, Co-Host of Matt & Michele Outdoors and Owner of Serenity Outdoors Canoe Guide Service, based out of Asheville, NC.