This second day of November began with fog along the river—restless swirls of luminous white mist that hung over pools and riffles like leftover ghosts from Halloween. The view upstream was softened, the familiar scene transformed, given an aura of mystery, as if time had been shifted back to a moment just after creation. Water and sky merged. Sycamores leaned thoughtfully, like white-robed Druids.
The only sound was that most ancient language of water purling over stone. A muted whisper; a voice of secrets. What was it saying?
During the small hours of the night, I had awakened and arose from my bed. An odd light seemed to be filling the front room. It took me a moment to identify the light's source as a nearly full moon, diffused by a thin screen of clouds, now coming through the room's high-set triangular windows as a pale, silvery wash.
Perhaps, I now thought, that hadn't been clouds beyond my river-facing windows, but the first shimmery breath of this fog which hushed and altered my streambank world. For a long time I stood beside the moving water, listening to the silence, wondering what lay beyond that veil of fog.
A fellow I know recently told me he was trying to quit asking questions. Why? Because, he said, the older he became, the less he liked the answers. He may be right. Could be some questions are better left unasked. After all, curiosity is said to have been a fatal flaw to the cat. But I can't imagine ever reaching that point where I don't want to know, to learn, to find out what's beyond that veil of mist.
And I want to know, too, what message the river keeps repeating to my untuned ear.