Dirt amasses in a backyard in hills and pools like a dried mudslide. Slender wooden sticks with orange flags perched atop them puncture the mud’s surface, revealing little roots and worms and life. These pennants, carrot in hue in their plastic nature, join together to mark plots of land. Flags appear in plot after plot after plot, never quite ceasing, even once the pink horizon deepens and sinks into the syrupy darkness of the sludge.
This is development.
What was once fields with switchgrass, dandelions, thistles and sunflowers is now just…mud. It’s happening everywhere, every year – actions of expansion.
It’s apparent, from the sunflowers that still wave their yellowed petals to the tune of the wind, that development nearly always requires destruction. Yet, in this sense, such a thing struggles to mark progress at all when demolition precedes it. The small plot of wild sunflowers, which dance in the muddy openness on the north side of the land, provide a solitary swatch of evidence as to the damage inflicted on the land’s natural habitat to provide such advancement, this one in the name of apartment living.
As I stand staring into the dark, muddy pools of nothingness, I consider the emptiness of the land. Then, as I turn around to head back inside, my eyes catch a child clutching a dandelion, trekking across a small slice of land, just to the east of my overlook. In the midst of the opal-hued muck, fragments of green assemble as if called to fight their way through the sticky trenches of the mud. The child laughs.
I think to myself, Maybe there’s evidence of progress here after all.