On a field-road at the outskirts of town a farmer stands surveying his plot. It is a barren place where seed planted in rows laid dormant in the cold earth until decay destroyed them from the inside out. His wife is a laborer at a factory. She performs the same repetitive duties and with good reason believes the week to come will only be a miserable collection of yesterdays. Together they live in a town whose footprint hasn’t changed in twenty years. The streets are dotted with few businesses; their proprietors barely exist. The last fresh face to arrive here is now withered and worn. At night when the air is still and sound carries further than it should, I hear the cry of hope drowning and the empty thud of crumbling dreams.
This is a place that lacks faith, has no hope for tomorrow, and the promise of growth has gone unrealized. Without faith, hope, and growth there is little to separate birth from death.