Then the Sun Disappeared: A Modern-Day Fairy Tale. Or Not.

By mia hinkle (2022)

The sun disappeared. It was a raw and blustery November day blowing in the miserable winter. The wind howled all night long ushering in the dark unforgiving season to come and slamming the door on bright blue warm lazy autumn days of the past. The next morning, we looked out the window, and low and behold, the sun had disappeared!

We waited and waited. We couldn’t believe our eyes. No dawn? We couldn’t believe our watches. No sun? We kept turning on the TV news hoping they would shed some light on what had happened overnight. We kept checking our social media to see if the rest of the land was seeing what we were seeing. What was happening? And what next?

Day after day, we’d wake up hoping it had all been a bad dream. We had never seen anything like it. Ever since God was a boy, the sun had come up every day. We depended on it. It fed us. It nourished us. It kept us warm and secure and flourishing. And now it was gone! And for how long? Forever? It can’t be!!

Slowly the idea began to take root that sunless days were our new reality. We investigated how this might have happened, and we began to hear about little pockets of the population all across the land who actually preferred living under cover of darkness. They had figured out they could get away with murder in the dark; lying and stealing to line their pockets and getting their way all the time in every way. Egging them on stood an army of their heroes with microphones. An army whose voices were piped in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, spewing anything that would keep people fearful, angry, and listening.

Almost immediately, the proverbial bad wolf began gaining in size and influence. Have you heard the legend of the good wolf and the bad wolf living within each of us? The one who rules you is the one you feed. Now that the sun had disappeared, the bad wolf was growing and prowling around looking for someone new to devour.

These little infected pockets of profoundly mislead people with their 24/7 chanting, had promoted weak-minded leaders who were a hollow reflection of their own venomous hearts. They made sure that very bad people weaseled their way to the inner sanctums and then ordered them to do their bidding. Without the sun, they were free to exploit the vulnerable for their own gain. In the darkness, they were free to make fun of the disabled and to be mean to those in need. Without anyone watching, they put profits over people and normalized violence toward anyone who came against them. Without the light, they were able to dress up in the robes of the unborn to stir the hearts of those who once had fed the good wolf. Not even mother earth was off limits, as laws were passed allowing her poisoning. Those murky dark days had the feel of an unsupervised schoolyard or a chapter from Lord of the Flies.

Emotions and fear became the driving force in everyday life because as we all know when rational thought and emotion get into a dispute, emotion always wins. Fear and anger can motivate even the Godliest among us to do the most ungodly things.

Most of the people in the land were basically trusting at heart, and so before the sun disappeared, lived with our heads in the sand. We believed that the sun would always rise. So, when the warning signs came, we were determined not to believe it. We did nothing to stop it. We could have. But we didn’t. And now the sun had disappeared, and we were in a world of hurt.

From sea to shining sea, we became cold and hungry and violent and sick and divided. Rich against poor. Young against old. White against black. Haves against have-nots. Brother against brother. Husbands against wives. The people began to lose heart, and then a new enemy raised its ugly head. This new foe spread like wildfire across the world and randomly made us sick or disabled or worse. The people could not decide for themselves how exactly to fight the foe, but they turned a deaf ear to the warnings of the wise ones. Soon there was a halt to trading and commerce and travel and education and gathering together. Shelves began to empty. Despair tightened its grip. As the dark years dragged on and on, the people in the land languished in their self-imposed misery.  

But then a mysterious phenomenon began to happen.  Hope began to blossom first like the little springtime crocus, then in time, like the tall willowy cosmos dancing in the summer wind.  

Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” The people got to work, spurred on by the belief that the difference between hope and despair involves telling a different story from the same set of facts. They took their tears and began to water tiny seeds of hope that had been buried deep within the whole time. They got to work and began writing their own story.

They worked to free the captives. They worked to feed the poor. They worked to teach the children. They worked to develop cures. They worked against bias and discrimination. They worked against violence. They worked against corruption. They worked against fear.

Four years later, as a result of their hard work, new leaders rose to power, leaders who reflected the generous and inclusive hearts of most of the population. This, of course, sent the old guard into a full-fledged hissy fit and they tried to burn down the country to keep the sun from shining. They failed.

So, on the morning of January 20, the sun reappeared for the first time in 1,534 days! It was a bright blue sunny cold winter day. It was the kind of day that a beautiful young poet, in a stunning yellow coat and red hat, describes in glowing descriptors when speaking of peace and promise for the future.

It was the kind of day that made you want to wear pearls. And so we did. 

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