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Fog Isn't So Awful If You Look At It Another Way

Before Life Hurries On --

Friday, Agnolia saw Claire Rathborn at the grocery store. The first time Agnolia met the Rathborns, they told her they had made a fortune in an Internet venture, owned a 26 room home near Boston, an 18 room cottage on the Cape and were building on Ezra Wagner’s woodlot. During their first conversation, Claire complained about how hard it was to deal with architects "who just didn't understand."

The last time Agnolia had seen Claire was when the Rathborns invited Elwood and Agnolia to dinner. During dinner Claire repeatedly said, "I don't know where you get good Caviar up here!" and "I'm so sorry about the steaks, I asked the butcher to cut them exactly 1¾" thick."

Friday, when Agnolia asked Claire how things were going, Claire responded, "Awful! The market is down. Gerald has lost a fortune. It was so foggy this morning I couldn't see a thing. Things are just awful."

When Agnolia told Elwood about her meeting with Claire, Elwood said, "The lady needs an attitude adjustment. It might help if we gave her the book, Before Life Hurries On." Before Life Hurries On, which was one of Agnolia's favorite books, contains poems by Naturalist Jenepher Lingelbach and beautiful color prints by the renowned Vermont artist, Sabra Field.

Agnolia, who had been feeling a bit guilty for not having invited the Rathborns over for dinner, thought it would be nice to give the Rathborns a gift, especially if the gift might provide an antidote to Claire's negativism. The next day, Agnolia purchased a copy of Before Life Hurries On that had been signed by both the illustrator and the author.

Before wrapping the book and taking it over to Claire, Agnolia read again the Prologue -

This book celebrates special natural places, for their beauty and for their healing of the human spirit . . . The human spirit and the open landscape. . . come together in this book . . . as a prayer for the well being of the land and the human spirit. The next day, Agnolia got a thank you note from Claire, which in part said -

I love the book. The illustrations are beautiful. When I read November Fog which in the first stanza says-

Fog hangs like silver gauze
And curtains of the distant woods
Yet displays in stark relief
The naked silhouettes of oak and elm

I found myself thinking fog can be interesting and if you look at it the right way it isn't so awful.

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