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Hello blue sky, how I have missed you. Did I know how much I loved you until you were hidden? The brown smudge masquerading as sky will be as missed as a bad cold. Brown on the ground whispers of growing things. The brown in someones hair glistens in the sunlight, catching the stray beams and turning it to gold and silver. Both bring loveliness to the world.

Not so the brown in the sky this summer. It screamed a story of death a destruction to anyone who dared to look up. It wept ashy tears for all the things lost and breathed a bitter wind of mourning. We mourned with it, there was no other choice. Coughing fits reduced us to tears. The constant smoke in the air sent us all inside for days on end, hoping it wouldn’t infiltrate our homes, and cursing when it did. If you were lucky enough to rise above the brown smog just looking down at the low lying cloud trying to erase our homes and businesses was enough to send anyone into a fit of despair. For weeks on end we would breath, eat, and watch the brown in the air. Hoping for a fresh breeze, praying for rain, wondering if it would ever end.

Sometimes, the brown in the sky would be clouds, sending down rain onto our upturned, smiling faces. We would pause, a breath in the fresh smell deeply, hoping to take enough in to last until it rained again. A let up, a breather, a refreshing few days of blue sky and clean air. And then we would watch the brown march in again.

An seemingly unending cycle of rain and brown, that is, until a few days ago. One morning I woke up and the mountains greeted me. Every detail clear and distinct in the morning light. There was nothing between me and the mountains except the gloriously clean air. Above the mountains the blue sky smiled down on me. The rich blue of a Colorado sky, begging the passersby to look up and see what miracle has occurred. The sky is clear, the sunshine undiluted, and the smiles are back on the people below.

Shaina Merrick

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