It was a frigid New Year’s Eve in the Davis Mountains. Winter blanketed the mountains, and the white fog crept closer to the Indian Lodge. Where we should have looked up into an infinite celestial sky and out into the desert mountain range, we looked instead into nothingness.
This white fog of winter covered all until all was obsolete.
I awoke at night and looked outside, attempting to discern the mountains or the trees, but looked only into the nothingness of winter; it felt bleak and lonely for a moment, but then, even my loneliness was swallowed by the silent frozen fog.
Looking into the nothingness, I felt nothing looking back at me—the mountain and I were suspended in a moment of non-existence, a moment of winter.
The freezing fog covered the Permian Basin, blanketing the roads in ice and giving us further days out west. The next day was cold and sunless, but still we ventured out, walking quietly through the stillness of morning.
Our favorite trail was too icy to ascend, so we walked along the road, ambling through campsites and enjoying the chill. A bird blind offered warmth and a view of desert birds and migratory visitors. The birds carried on through winter, refusing to be swallowed by the fog, and their insistence on the present moment was stirring.
When the fog had finally lifted, we were able to go up to Skyine Drive. The desert stretched, unobscured, and then rose up past the horizon. In the far distance, we could see the Observatory’s telescopes on the mountain, scanning the universe for meaning. The frozen fog had provided a moment of stillness before the start of a new year, but now the landscape was clear and full of possibility.