There was patience and grumbling under breath for more than thirty years. Everyone knew that the sunshine was killed by a dark and shadowing cloud. That cloud gathered smaller gray clouds around it, becoming one huge black sky that had no silver lining. Occasionally when it would line itself with the silver of freer climates from across the globe, the rays of a distant hopeful sun would shine through, but only for brief moments. And when the freer, warmer climates breezed their attentions elsewhere, the black sky would deposit the silver lining into offshore accounts and then release more acid rain onto the dry, parched ground of the land beneath it.

The product of thirty years of acid rain and very little nourishing moisture is a hard and rugged land. It still gives vegetation, but for every one pure and wholesome fruit produced there are five that are full of worms and as blackened on the inside as they are red and beautiful on the outside. These plants are mostly rootless. If they have roots, they are not hard-fastened to the sandy soil and are therefore, lazy and useless. They cannot provide for the starving plant, and the germination process seemingly stopped.

But there was a bright light. And the smaller, younger shoots caught a glimpse of it and were inspired. They pushed through the topsoil. They blossomed and rooted deep strong roots in the soil that was deep down in the earth of old. Their blossoms, bright and colorful, shouted to the lazy and complacent foiliage in the gardens across the land. They encouraged them out of their sleep and brought their pride to the tips of their leaves, forcing them to rise up against the artificial climate of the controlled greenhouse built around them by the black sky. They, too, shouted out their colors and burst through the glass ceiling that had held them down so long. They grew tall and strong. They reached the sky united and broke through its blackness and it crumbled to the ground. The warmth of the hope of a new sun was so warm around them that they felt no fear nor cowardice. The wetness of true rain with its nutrients was real and inspiring on their hungry petals and they grew stronger and overcame the blackness.

But the black sky left its residue of corruption in the very chlorophyll of the vegetation throughout the land. Some of the plants, who only knew life under the black sky, continued to live as parasite plants, choking the very life out of the smaller and younger plants. Only a new sun can provide a focal point for the lazy and corrupt plants. Can the smaller clouds gathering in the sky along with a  new sun wash away this dirt and filthy stench of thirty oppressive years of darkness? Hope is here. We’ll see.

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