We arrive on the college grounds before dawn, in mist that has required a slow but steady clicking of windshield wipers. Seen from my office suite's third-floor windows, the dark fog clinging to the trees and wavering over the lawn makes the quad appear submerged in a faerie sea. Later, as the sun rises, the fog thickens and whitens. On my way to class, I pause beneath an ancient pine between buildings: five feet away all is blurred, suffused into the mist, while the tree's rough trunk, its nearest branches with their baby cones, the cracks in the sidewalk, the browning of still-green December grass, all sharpen into relief and startle with a vividness lost in the past weeks' dull wintery grays. "Beauty, beauty, beauty." How can I so often find myself believing that God has abandoned this world He creates and loves, or the image-bearers with whom He has peopled it? "The dearest freshness deep down things" is always pressing its way up to prove me wrong.