As twilight hit a mist rose up from the bay, floating and swirling like the lacy train on a wedding gown. The world turned silver white. I imagined myself as Emily Bronte looking out on the moors, writing by pale candlelight of love and loss.
I remembered going fishing with my Uncle Jack when it was still dark and the icy plumes of our breathing melding with the mist surrounding the boat, clutching at it with fingers so long and slender I grew convinced that we had disturbed the slumber of spirits of the water and they were angry enough to capsize us.
I remembered when I broke up with my boyfriend, Johnny James, and he offered to walk me home but I was so angry with him I just ran off into the dark. The mist was like soup. The further I ran, the mistier it grew. I became scared because I began to lose my sense of direction and I couldn’t see the lights on in windows and I was worried I had walked over to the station that was always really deserted and spooky at night because the trains in those days stopped running after nine o’clock. I thought I heard laughter in the mist and I think I cried a little bit, but it was just Johnny calling out to me because he didn’t want me to walk home alone even though we had broken up. He walked me to my front door then disappeared into the mist and all night I wondered if he had made it home. But we had broken up and I was worried he had told his Mum and that she would be angry with me for calling to see if he had made it home as I was now his ex-girlfriend and it was no longer any of my business. So I didn’t find out he had made it home for an entire 24 hours. Such is the nature of a break up.
Misty nights remind me of when I lived in an apartment by the sea that had enormous windows that seemed to be full of nothing but the ocean. When the sea mists rolled the windows became frosted glass. It was like living inside a snowdome. Rooms became varying hues of white and the pale blue you see at the edges of clouds. Lying in bed with the blankets pulled right up to my chin all I could hear was the waves frolicking. All I could see was the mist tracing lines on the windows – wispy, threadlike. Everything I touched made my hands turn white and pale blue. I remember thinking at the time: This is heaven. This is heaven. And it was.
When I see the mist I feel I can breathe. I feel I am more myself. It makes me think that maybe at one time I was formed of mist and didn’t even know it.
The mist calls to me. A beauty like strewn leaves on grass. I know its call. It is always the same – a fleeting murmur that doesn’t just weave a path through blades of grass or mark its finger on rocks and stones. It stirs up memories, pictures scattered within the heart of it. It is a different time, a different place, but the mist is always the same, dusting the world with shivers of gossamer.