There is a dark, dreamlike drama that I search for in landscape. Even on cheerful, sunny days, I try to find a deepening shadow. High noon in the summer is, to me, almost unbearable. I crave the places of mystery, the depth of brooding light. Summer is a tough time of year for me. There's no place to hide.
Here in Marin County, summer does have—besides sweet corn and tomatoes—one remarkable gift. It is our fog. The fog is a wool blanket of comfort that roars in on late, summer afternoons. Sometimes it sneaks in after dark but the drama of a giant fog attack is, by far, my favorite thing about the season. The blanket hangs around through lazy mornings, retreats, then repeats the spectacle the next day. Then the cycle exhausts itself and the glaring, unforgiving sun reemerges. That's when I go back into hiding again.
Yesterday we were treated to an early visit of the fog. On the side of Mt. Tamalpais one encounters it on the way to the top. Sometimes the fog is so thick one never emerges from it. Yesterday, the fog hung low and soon I was above it, looking down at rolling mass of pure whiteness. The light was crystalline, there were places of refuge and shade. The fog below quieted the world and made that above it feel protected and sacred.