On expectations and foggy days

We’ve been waiting for this day all week.

Not just all week… but for weeks! Scratch that. Months, really. 

The weather app said it would be sunny and 67 degrees. After what felt like the longest winter in the history of cold, we were finally expecting a warm, sunny day. I couldn’t wait.

I woke up at 6 a.m., my usual time. I could hear the frogs singing through the window we left cracked open all night. I pulled back the curtains to catch a glimpse of the sunrise.

Instead, I could barely even see the prairie behind our house. There were no signs of a bright, sunny morning. All I could see was dense fog.

My husband mumbled from his side of the bed, asking about how it looked out there. “I’m going to go out and shoot photos of the fog,” I told him.

This is one of my many weirdnesses. I love going out early in the morning in search of a photo.  I love heading out on these solitary adventures because I never know what I will find in the quiet of the morning. I can try to imagine what might create the perfect photo, but I will absolutely always stumble upon something I didn’t expect. And there’s nothing that adds to the adventure quite like the mystery of the fog.


I made a mental list of all of my favorite photography spots near my house. What would look best draped in a blanket of fog? My first stop was the red barn that sits by a little lake about a half mile away. When I got there, the barn was gone. I literally could not see it at all.

I drove by several more red barns that I swore were there every other day. They all had vanished. The fog was so thick, I almost ran a stop sign. Then, another.

I wondered how my favorite white church would look surrounded in fog. I missed the turn and had to take a detour. Could it really even be worth this much effort?


As I drove, I could see the sun struggling to break through the thick gray. I reminded myself not to stare at the faint yellow orb. Even in this much fog, it can’t be good to stare at the sun.

I parked my minivan across the street from the white church and walked across the little baseball field. That field is literally straight out of a movie. It’s so perfect and quaint and pops out of no where next to the country road. My feet were soaked from walking through the wet grass.

I turned around hoping that maybe the yellow glow of the sun would be framed next to the steeple. Then, I realized that if I moved over a few yards, it would be ready to pop through the bell tower. I only had to wait a minute before it was positioned perfectly.

I could not have timed a more photographic moment.

I was hoping for a bright, sunny morning. Instead, I got a gift wrapped in fog. 

That sight offered me hope after a hard week. I had built up expectations about how a lot of things would go. I wanted happy and easy and comfy and joyful. Instead, I ran into disappointment and frustration and irritation and extra work.

By Friday afternoon, I realized I had to let go of how I thought things were supposed to be. I needed to just jump into the figurative fog in my life. Don’t avoid it. Don’t be annoyed by it or disappointed.

Dive in.

That white church with the glowing steeple was a good reminder for me. Sometime things aren’t going the way you had planned, and you can barely see to drive through the fog. Keep going. You might turn around and find an unexpected gift.


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