With Pat Tuholske



Blessed By mist


It is a perfect spring night — the bats swoop for prey under the brilliant stars, the spring peepers trill in chorus, and the creek murmurs in the distance.  I feed the fire and wait.  The coyotes begin their long high-pitched wails.  A blue heron bound for the roost squawks overhead.  The darkness has come alive after the long winter.

I stand and scan the western path.  Nothing yet.  Circling the clearing, I glance up to see a shooting star and make a wish.  Always in awe of the big night sky, I stretch out on the greening earth and embrace the splendor.  I have longed for the beginnings of spring to banish winter’s cobwebs from my body and mind.

After a time, I rise and walk to the west.  It is creeping down the narrow path in low ghostly streaks.  In the still air, it slowly glides towards me and halts at the edge of the firelight.  The mist curls and slithers like an earthbound nebula.  I greet this primal force of nature and yearn for it to enter the clearing.  I wait to be baptized by these floating waters — to be reborn and renewed alongside the new spring shoots.  Under this cloak cast by the fey, I seek to be healed.

Mist is an in-between place of possibility and a portal to the greater mysteries. I feel the Otherworld suspended within this soothing surreal presence.  Many times I have witnessed its enchantment.  I have seen it dance with the ridgeline under the full moon. I have seen it dangle fairy lights and manifest swirling specters.  I have seen the Spirit of the Mist react to watchers and wanderers — to believers and skeptics.

Mist is an in-between state where water is mixed with air and becomes an earth-bound cloud hovering over the cooling ground. Mist will form first as shallow streaks near the ground then fill low-lying tracts where colder air sinks. It gathers along the wood line, penetrates the deep hollows and hovers above the roiling rapids just as it has done for thousands of years.  I am not the first to wonder at its near nightly dance in this valley.  I hear the whispers of those who walked before as I sleep surrounded by their memories drifting in the vapors.

I wake before dawn to the valley still shrouded in mist.  This silent visitor makes my heart light and my soul soar in the simple joy of being alive to witness its coming and going.  As I watch the water droplets swirl on early morning rays, I feel the serenity I sought in the night.  The weariness of winter evaporates with the mist as the sun claims it.  Once again transformed by the elements, I am grateful for the alchemy of nature and the privilege to live surrounded by such beauty.


Pat Tuholske is the facilitator of Elemental Earthcamp  “off the grid” eco-camp and shamanic retreat.  Go to elementalearthcamp.com or call 636-274-3697 or email k9ally@netzero.com.