Loving Mist: A Child Villain’s Fetish

“You
can never outgrow your inner child but you can rejuvenate your outer adult.”

I don’t know about you but I love mist and
that has nothing to do with my morbid fascination with horror movies – horror movies,
at least when they were still about suspense, creativity and genuine thrills
rather than gore, insanely copious litres of split fake blood and shock tactics
that now come in 3D (such as in the latest Final Destination). Mist for me
brings atmosphere, sets the scene and makes life seem like a real movie – which
I really do believe it is (I do! I do!).

Ever since I was a child in a boarding school
located in the Natal Midlands, which is rich with forest greenery, brawny
mountains and flowing streams and rivers, I have been fascinated with mist as
there it added to the mystic and beauty of the place. Many mornings, and
sometimes whole days, spent there were filled with mist and it would just bring
out the best in me. As a young child I was quite excitable and had an
exaggerated imagination so I would go into overload on such days and giggle to
myself like a villain who just devised a genius, but ill fated, plan. I would
run in mad circles trying to feel the mist on my face, or be part of it somehow
and nobody would understand what I was doing.

I don’t blame them since I am not quite sure
what it is exactly I was doing either. All I remember is that it is as if mist
would release or ignite something within me, as if I was part mist and the mist
was part insane little Xhosa boy and together we would define natural beauty or
artistic madness or whatever it is that we fundamentally are. I know that
feeling has stayed with me into adulthood and recognise it on days when the
mist is out doing it’s thing, bringing mystery, suspense and supple beauty. It is
as if when the mist is out I am at once connected with my youth and I cannot
help but feel like that evil genius of a child and I sense that same ridiculous
giggle build up inside from an innocent place.

Even the various definitions of mist drive me batty with childlike mirth.
According to Wikipedia mist is defined as a phenomenon of small droplets suspended in air. It can
occur as part of natural weather or volcanic activity, and is common in cold
air above warmer water, in exhaled air in the cold, and in a steam room of a
sauna. It can also be created artificially with aerosol canisters if the
humidity conditions are right.

The only
difference between mist and fog is visibility. This phenomenon is called fog if
the visibility is one kilometer (1,100 yards) or less (in the UK for driving
purposes the definition of fog is visibility less than 200 meters, for pilots
the distance is 1 kilometer). Otherwise it is known as mist. Seen from a
distance, mist is bluish, and haze is more brownish.

Religious connotations
are associated with mist in some cultures; it is used as a metaphor in 2 Peters
2:17.

Mist makes a
beam of light visible from the side via refraction and reflection on the
suspended water droplets.

“Scotch
mist” is a light steady drizzle, the name being typical of the Scottish
penchant for understatement (and of Scottish weather). One could also be
forgiven for thinking “Scotch Mist” is a kind of hangover one gets when they
have been drinking neat whiskey the night before.

Mist usually
occurs near the shores, and is often associated with fog. Mist can be as high
as mountain tops when extreme temperatures are low.

Fortunately for
me today where I am, in Saldanha Bay the mist is occurring both from a nearby
shore and a nearby mountain and so I feel doubly blessed. I feel besieged by my
inner child while I try playing the adult, grown and professional. I think I am
losing the battle though since the child with the imagination always has the
upper hand and on days like these I am grateful for it…

Saldanha Mist

That's my view from my train office window...

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