Each winter, when a high pressure weather system moves over the snow-covered mountain valleys of the West, an interesting phenomena takes place called temperature inversion. The warmer air traps a layer of cold air in the valley creating a stagnant pocket of haze, pollution, and sub-freezing temperatures.
From the perspective of those living in the valley, the change is subtle, almost imperceptible. The temperature drops and it seems cloudy. As the inversion grows stronger each day, the inversion bubble traps more and more moisture and pollution. The sun disappears and the weather becomes progressively darker, hazier, and colder. Residents go about their business as usual, looking forward to spring, warmer temperatures, and sunshine.
Yet, unknown to them, warmer temperatures, blue skies, and sunshine are only a few hundred feet away, above the inversion. A short drive up one of the many mountain canyons reveals this astonishing truth.
Approaching the canyon from the valley, the mountains look dark and foreboding. Trees and shrubs are covered with an intricate lace of frost collected from the sub-freezing haze. As you continue up the mountain road, the sky becomes darker and darker. Almost imperceptibly, the temperature begins to rise. You see a spot of light up ahead. And suddenly, you break through into blinding light. The sky is deep blue in every direction. The sun sparkles on the snow. In the past 30 seconds, the temperature has risen from 18º to 38º Fahrenheit! A quick look back reveals an amazing sight. The valley is covered in what looks like a thick soup of clouds with mountains rising majestically on all sides.
Isn’t this like our lives? We allow the problems and stresses of life to cloud around us, blocking our vision and depressing our spirits. When this happens, our outlook can seem hopeless. We need to realize that hope and sunshine are just above the haze. This is why it is so important to listen and learn from those who have already risen above the clouds. Once we realize that the sun is shining just above the clouds, we can view our lives from a different perspective. Then, using goals, enthusiasm, and positive belief to chart our course, we can leave the clouds of despair behind and move into the sunlight of hope.