One of the strange thing about living in the world that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live for ever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender, solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange, unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun – which as been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One know it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark-blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eyes. – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
While I know that Burnett was talking about the flowers of gardens in the Spring, I think I can feel it best when I stare into the mist on a chilly day, looking out over the ocean or over a great lake.
Staring into the mist over Lake Superior, it feels like it goes on forever.
It’s actually the mist – the lack of clarity – that makes me feel so sure of what I feel in the moment. The mist makes the world feel more expansive. Like “for ever and ever and ever” is more than just a possibility.
Or maybe it is the contrast between the clarity of what we see up close and the mystery of the wider view beyond that makes you sure that there is so much more than you could ever be sure of, so much more than could ever be seen clearly up close.