Autumn in the Midwest brings cooler temperatures, lovely displays of fall colors and mornings with thick blankets of misty fog. These are the misty fogs that can be watched rolling in and slowly envelop the still heavy eyed and sleepy morning risers, such as me, in a cloud. Fog or no, the first thing in the morning is to let the dogs out. Spotlights are turned on and I can actually see thousands, hundreds of thousands of tiny water droplets moving on air currents. Positioning myself just right in the lights, I can now see how my movements are changing the patterns of the air. I can’t resist moving my arms and legs, slowly raising my arms over my head, then balancing on one leg. The water droplets twist as they are caught in small airborne whirlpools; the currents are changed by my movements. Most of the time, we can’t see how everyday movements impact the currents of air that swirl around. It is the occasional fog or smoke that makes these things visible to the naked eye. Subtle things, those currents, like influences of people in my life. An eighth grade math teacher of mine passed away yesterday. He made a subject that has always been a challenge for me into something intelligible. I remember being able to do math and I remember his kindness. There have been many that have made wonderful influences in my life as well, sweet currents that have surrounded me and others. Teachers who have grown, mentors who have guided, friends of celebration and solace, pastors to shepherd, family to love, and many kind strangers who have been eddies.
We often do not see the true twirl and whirl of our influence, the changes our movements make in the currents. The unlooked for encouragement that may change a life, the writing that enables the courage of good men, and songs that let us share our most gentle loves; churn words, spin and twirl in the fog – create beautiful currents around me and the people around me. I may not be able to see them, but I can choose how to shape them. I want them to be beautiful.