From Light to Dark and Back Again By: Yasmeena Sedhom and Dorothy Wu

I woke up to the sound of the rain dropping down my window. The sky formed dark, grey clouds, just how they’ve been for the past week. “Jonah!” Mom called, snapping me out of my daze.

“Come down for breakfast!” I could smell the bacon cooking downstairs. I put on some jeans and a plain t-shirt and rushed downstairs.

“Any plans today, Jonah?” Mom asked when I sat down. “No, not really.” I shrugged. “I might just go for a bike ride or something.” “Sounds good!” Mom exclaimed. “Just be careful, there’s a nasty flu going around, almost everyone is sick!” I nodded and grabbed a piece of toast before running out the door.

As I was heading to the garage, I saw piles of waste crowding the streets. The streets around my neighbourhood have never been clean but the amount of garbage sitting around the city today has really got my attention.

After grabbing my bike from the shed, I saw good ol’ Ben walking towards me. “Lots of waste gathering up, huh pal?” Just like he could read my mind. “Yeah, I was just thinking about that!” I replied back. “Back in my day, these streets were glimmering!"

"The grass was green, the sun was shining, oh how I miss it!” Typical Ben. Always talking about things ‘back in his day.’ I chuckled and said with a grin, “I think the sun is hiding from us! Anyways, I have to go but see you later Ben!” And off to the market I went.

“Hey Mom!” I yelled, hoping she heard me coming through the door. She came out of the kitchen with a smile on her face.“How was your bike ride?” She asked. I thought back to all the garbage I saw on the streets. “It was fine,” I stated, “our town seems quite dirty though, don’t you think?” She looked up from her cooking with a confused look on her face.

“I don’t know,” I continued. “I mean just seeing all those plastic bags and empty water bottles on the curbs made me think.” While putting her hand against my forehead she said,“Are you under the weather? You, Jonah Bledsoe, thinking about something other than soccer?” “Ha ha, you’re very funny,” I responded with a grin.

“Speaking of soccer, do you know where my goalie gloves are? I can’t find them anywhere!” “I don’t know honey, have you checked the attic?” The attic! That was the one place I didn’t check! Grabbing the ladder and a flashlight, I headed towards the attic.

Flick! The sound of the light switch as I turned it on. I’ve never been to the attic before. Boy, the amount of dust up there is unbelievable! Eager to get out as fast as I could, I saw my gloves in a box in the corner and was about to leave when something caught my eye.

As I got closer, I realized it was a diary of some sort. After blowing the dust off of the cover, I opened it and was astonished at the stuff I saw. Pages and pages of writing! At the corner of a page, it was written in the year, 1980.

“WOAH!” I exclaimed in shock. I read page after page and looking at the clock, I had been reading for the past half an hour! “Jonah! It’s time for dinner!” My mom called. I grabbed the journal and my soccer gloves and headed downstairs.

The next day, it was 12 pm when I woke up. I stayed up until 1 am last night reading the diary! So far I know that this man was living in the 80s, he was very passionate about the environment and his name was Andrew Bledsoe. Bledsoe isn’t a very common last name here in San Francisco so he must be related to me somehow! I kept reading because something about the entries made me eager to read more. Each entry was filled with the things he did every day, his emotions, and so much more! In this specific entry, he kept going on and on about burying a time capsule with the materials needed to “save the world.” I wasn’t sure what that meant but boy, this man can dream! Although all these entries have much in common, the thing I read next was completely unexpected.

As I was about to close the journal, something started glimmering outside my window. I focused my attention outside and realized that it was the Johnson’s farm! It was destiny. San Francisco really did need a clean-up, and I would get it started.

“Mom, I’m going out for another bike ride!” I yelled, before rushing out of the house with the journal in my hand. The only thing running through my head was what was in that box. And why me? Why am I the ‘chosen one?’ I rode through the fields as fast as my bike could take me.

When I arrived at the abandoned farm, I rested my bike against a broken mailbox and ran towards the barn. After spending a good 10 minutes of trying to get in, I managed to open the doors.

I walked inside, the smell of hay filling the air. The barn was full of supplies. Buckets, brooms, jugs, pails, you name it. Walking towards the back of the barn, I saw the cabinet. Polished wood, old and chipped. I rushed towards it, opening the cabinet. The chest that contained the items that would change my town forever.

After countless attempts to try and open the chest, I gave up and decided to bring it home. All I need is a hammer to break this thing open. It was getting late and I knew that Mom would be waiting for me to come home. So off I went, biking down the hill with the old chest strapped against my back. It wasn’t until the next day that I finally had the chance to sneak the chest into my room. I knew that if Mom saw it, she would freak. After pounding the trunk a couple of times, the lock finally broke free. I was shocked and might I add a bit disappointed to see what was inside. I was expecting a box full of tools and appliances but when I opened the chest, all that laid inside was a small, yet important letter.


San Francisco is now one of the most sustainable cities in the USA. In 2011, it was announced that 80 percent of the city’s waste is going to recycling and composting facilities, instead of to landfills. Because of what the residents of San Francisco did to become more sustainable, the city leads America in the sustainable waste disposal. Because of people like Jonah, and the people who decided to help, this was all possible. After Jonah spread the word and told his town that they needed to change, the whole community got together and each did their part in making San Francisco the amazing environment it is today.

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