One by one, they all stop; they lay down their shovels, their rakes, and take off their dusty, earth brown gloves. Slowly, they each stand and walk toward the luminous, blue neon exit sign that hovers above the greenhouse door. As they pass, each worker grabs a handful of dirt from the soil below. Each man and woman, as they leave the silence behind them, takes one hand, always their right, and slash a deep brown mark across the notice that has been their guardian and prisoner for far too many years.
When all have left, hundreds and hundreds altogether, only a few letters remain to be seen on the white and black printed sign. These are not any random letters, but strategically picked; and they spell out something unmistakable.
“We are life.”
And as the only sound that fills the empty domes – water weeping from the green no longer tendered – it feels as if there is, finally, a choice.
But freedom can only last so long.