The cold has moved on. We are left with this morning, a morning like I have never seen in Paraguay. I woke up early, or was woken up at least, by the weight of the sky resting on my body--the clouds have come down it seems, descended from the Andes, corralled by the Arctic winds from the south, rolled across plains and deserts, only to settle here in the Paraguayan basin as a blanket of fog. I open the door to my house and peer outside. I can barely see past the edge of my patio. I can hear the daily hum of things waking--my neighbors converse as they sip maté and prepare for the fields, the roosters crow, children congregate slowly in front of schoolhouse--but I can see none of them. A Whistling Heron flies overhead on its way to feed in the marshes, offering a lonely, desperate call, not entirely unlike a loon, as it tumbles onward though the opaque daylight. Occasional water drips from my tin roof to keep an unsteady beat, a metronome of condensation and gravity, a tempo as warped in its timing as the air is obscured in its clarity.
The sun has ascended over the horizon, tossing diffused light through the haze like a ship’s beacon standing at the helm of a boat slowly navigating the edges of a squall on its way to shore. There is a chill to this heavy, moist air, but the sun’s warmth is just as tangible. It tickles my clammy skin; my hairs stand on-end. As the minutes pass, the fog seems to part and bow in reverence, letting the light collect and shine through a newly formed hole in the low-hanging clouds. An hour or so later, a great scar lines the horizon, charting the path that the sun has marched, upward and unchallenged, through the morning sky. The fog dissipates and surrenders, breaking apart slowly, unevenly, but eventually, in its entirety. Daytime is no time for the dawn, and the mist seems to know its place.
From the clouds,