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thoughts 27 (4)

Word of the Week: SUBMONTANE


Pronounced: [səb-män-tān]


  1. Passing under mountains
  2. At or near the base of a mountain

A Simple Reflection on the Word

A submontane village is one that is found at the base of a mountain. Many of these villages do not see sunlight for months at a time due to the enormous shadows cast upon them from the ranges above. Although they may occasionally enjoy mild weather because they are shielded from major storms, these villages experience hardships and tough conditions, especially in winter, due to the lack of natural sunlight.

Rjukan, Norway and Viganella, Italy are two examples of submontane villages. They are located in deep valleys where mountains block the sun’s rays for up to six months every year. The people in these villages, however, have refused to allow the darkness to overcome them during the long winter months. Instead, both towns have placed large mirrors at the peak of the mountains that surround them to track the sun and reflect daylight into the valley. Rather than allowing the darkness to defeat them, they’ve found a way to bring light into the shadows that were cast upon them. There is a powerful lesson to be learned here…

Sometimes, in order to experience the beauty of the light we were meant to see, we have to be willing to face the mountain in front of us and destroy it’s shadow. 

We will all face struggles and problems in our lives that, in the moment, will seem insurmountable. We will have days where the shadow engulfing us feels much stronger than the light trying to break through. Whether you are in a deep valley right now, or you have been there in the past, just know that finding the light waiting for you at the peak of the mountain begins with a single step forward.

Word Goal for Today

Face your mountain. Whether you are at the base of a tiny hill or a massive mountain, the submontane villages we put ourselves in when struggles and frustrations come can be debilitating. Focus on one thing today that offers a ray of light through the darkness you may be facing, and overcome the shadow one step at a time. 


Want more Word Goals of the Week?

Check out last week’s word DERACINATE here



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