Today’s edition of Beautiful Words features something I find puzzling.
The word is nebulaphobia. It’s a noun, and it means: fear of fog.
As a Bay Area native, I grew up with fog. And, I love it. I can’t understand why anyone would be afraid of it.
I earned my journalism degree at San Francisco State, and fog is just part of the environment in the City by the Bay. They’ve even named it Karl. You’ll find Karl the Fog everywhere, most days. Sometimes Karl just hangs out long enough to get morning coffee and then takes off. Where he goes, I don’t know. He can be kind of mysterious like that. Other times, Karl lingers like a houseguest with empty pockets and nothing on his agenda, puttering the day away.
He can make your commute interesting, and remind you to slow down and savor the moment. He can ensure that you encounter a surprise on your morning walk if you’re paying attention. Karl can drape the hillsides like a blanket of ethereal magic. He can deny you a view of the moon, the stars, or the building across the street, and force you to focus on other things. He can act as a buffer between a supposed us and them, showing you that separation is often temporary.
Karl can comfort you like an old friend, always there, in the background, whether you notice him or not, ready to be acknowledged. He rests his cloak along the ocean, dotted by crying seabirds and tumbling waves. And he makes one helluva writing partner.
Now, how could anyone be afraid of that?
What’s your favorite word?