You are walking on an ocean beach.
Ocean waves break against the shore.
Feel the sand between your toes.
Hear the birds chirp as they fly overhead.
Smell the air as the ocean breeze blows the hat off your head.
As you walk, you see your friend in the distance.
You meet and embrace, and notice the big smile on their face.
Together, you walk into the woods along a trail in the grass.
The sunshine breaks through the lush greenery.
You emerge from the woods and hear a rumble in the distance.
Little fluffy clouds fill the sky overhead.
The thundering grows louder.
You come upon some tracks.
The roar grows, and you see black, billowing smoke as the locomotive approaches.
The vast prairie of golden wheat transforms before your eyes.
It becomes an endless concrete jungle.
The chirp of the birds becomes the roar of jet engines.
Planes, trains, and automobiles fill the horizon in all directions.
Haze fills the air as smoke billows into the sky we’ve turned into a waste dump.
Your eyes get dry and itchy.
You try to breath in, but the smog burns your lungs.
You cough uncontrollably.
You feel sick. You can’t breathe.
You have to sit down.
As you squint to see through the smog.
The world grows black.
Everything you see fades away.
And you die.
Written for YOST 5956 Organizational Approaches to Youth Work in pursuit of a Master of Education in Youth Development Leadership at the University of Minnesota (2016).