It’s 9:10 pm here in Victoria, BC, and I’ve just come home from walking the dog. It’s foggy tonight, and has been foggy all day as well. In fact, the fog is so thick in this part of town that I can see maybe 10 feet in front of me, and beyond that, only thick grey mist. It’s pretty spooky, and for a moment I imagine myself walking in a street in England, a street out of a Sherlock Holmes movie, of course it had to be the movie about Jack the Ripper – what else could scare me more? I hurry the dog along.
This dog likes to sniff every other blade of grass, so our walks are always in slow motion. But tonight, even the dog is nervous, pulling at his leash and hurrying me along, too, which I don’t mind at all! In the distance, the lonely fog horn moans at regular intervals, a sound that has always left me feeling lonely and somewhat in awe, as I think of that one lone lighthouse out in the vast blackness of the ocean, protecting both our coast and any boats that might have the misfortune of travelling through the thickness of this night. The sound adds to the gloom that surrounds us as we walk.
There is no one in the street except us, but I look around nervously expecting to see dark figures dart across the street behind me. At one point, standing under a tree waiting for the dog, huge drops of water fall down on my head, and I look up. Is it starting to rain? Oddly enough, I see stars beyond the mist, and wonder where those drops come from.
We continue walking, and I look up again, through the naked branches of the trees, and see something even more mysterious…and beautiful. The tree branches are heavy with drops – dew drops from the fog. And against the lamp these big drops of water glisten like someone had taken the time to attach a multitude of diamonds to the whole tree. As we keep walking, I notice that every tree has these big drops that glitter against the street lights! For a few moments I forget my nervousness and gaze in wonder at the beauty shining through those trees. I’ve never seen such a sight! Who would have thought that these naked, January tree branches could be beautiful? Not me. I am once again amazed at the beauty there is all around us, even on a dark and foggy night when no one should be walking in the streets….
But, I was glad to get us inside and turn the locks in the door, shutting out the cold, the dampness, the mystery. And thanking God for the safety of being inside on this spooky winter night….