A pathway to follow or a chain of events in our past? Changing our perspective on the ordinary can lead us to fresh discoveries, to new ways to use the information that abounds, to be self-critical, to improve upon how we do things…to be better in myriad ways. Chances are, someone else has wandered this highway leaving us a sign to follow? Connecting the dots, the points of data, we can foretell the bumpy ride ahead…or we can respond to the telltales and plot a new course in hopes of experiencing a different fate, scribing our own lessons in our wake.
In the heart of every storm there is a light trying to escape, a voiceless scream in the deafening darkness…Senseless and ignorant, we watch the storm build, never understanding the truth, that pent up energy will rise to the heavens and release in a fury of light and sound…as unintelligible as mumblings in a foreign tongue, the release is misunderstood as if it were the rumbling of a train or the roar of a beast, yet it is neither…It is the frustrated cry of a speechless soul pressed by the darkness and longing to be noticed as a force of nature and set free. Forever, we tilt toward the storm.
In the darkest place in North America, light illuminates the rough edges while shadows paint the depths of the chasm. The darkness comes first, then the light brings us perspective. Here, there is neither struggle nor conflict between night and day as the depth of the canyon provides stasis in the ceaseless progression of light.
Riding on the edge of a rolling up draft and then drift down the other side as though riding a swell on the open ocean…climbing and slowing, descending and accelerating, our senses on alert to the all important and life granting airspeed…We come alive amid the cloudscape of the tropopause, reading the air as we catch discordant glimpses of the clouds and landscape beneath us…the surface winds creating the visually soothing swells of sand dunes along the western face of the front range before skipping the rocky edifice and rippling through the atmosphere with increasing intensity to rock our ship.
Eight miles a minute, we speed toward our destination…Keeping our eyes on the seemingly motionless stars above, we maintain our mission focus. A momentary glance below into the blur of our motion and we risk disorientation and loss…Constancy and motion provide a tension between which our sense of purpose inspires us to keep moving, to keep focus, to keep the shiny side up and smiles on our faces.
The presence of weather doesn’t halt our mission, instead, our mission planning begins with it…we ponder the development of weather threats, we think through scenarios and contingency plans, we weigh the physical constraints of our environment against our capabilities, we make decisions based on the availability of information, then we head out into the world and determine the truth of the moment in which we find ourselves. We are in the business of seeing through obscurations to perceive threats. From altitude, we look at the valley below us…rock formations hidden beneath a shroud of fog and red earth disguised by the radiant blue-white glow of snow. Sometimes weather is just vapor, while other times it is a veil disguising threats…A good perspective and a thorough understanding of our environment are the key to ensuring our safety when we find the reality of the world around us obscured.
It may look like another world, but it’s a space we know well…As we venture into the night, we seemingly move between worlds, following flares of reflected light into the last glowing slivers of the day.