Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthy Pride

It's an exciting life I lead. Really. I've been thinking back on the madness of the last few months, and have come to the conclusion that for all the loss and pain we've endured, we're better for it. Life in a world overrun with the walking dead is hard and dangerous, but it has forced us to live. Really, truly live.

Before The Fall, people used to seek thrills. I was never one for skydiving or bungee jumping. I had no desire to go on safari or surf on a tsunami. Roller coasters were about my limit, but even they gave me a thrill that seemed to amplify everything, made me feel every beat of my heart and really see the world around me.

Now, every day is like that. Our trip down to the fallback point wasn't all that eventful as sojourns outside the walls go, but we still had to take down a dozen or so zombies before we could get the gate open. Will surprised me by killing three himself, even though he was chained and cuffed. It was impressive to watch, and the though occurred to me that he could just as easily have crushed my skull as that of the undead that were in our way.

I like the effect that working for what we need to live has had on the people here. We can't go to the supermarket to get our food anymore, so we have to grow our own fruits and vegetables, raise our own livestock. Food used to be something that most people took for granted, a convenience like so many others. Choice and abundant supply made sustenance, one third of the things we need to live, an afterthought.

Now, though...People are active and energetic about it. When you spend a good portion of your time hungry, you learn to absolutely love the practice of agriculture. I've talked to a few people about it, and all of them seemed surprised to realize how much they enjoyed working on their food gardens here inside the compound once I pointed it out to them. Jess and I have grown some of our own food for a while, long before The Fall, as have many others. All of us know that wonderful satisfaction in eating a thing that you grew yourself, knowing that you have provided for your needs with nothing more than dirt, water, seeds, and time. That feeling is even more pronounced now, since all of us work to provide for each other.

I'm not saying it's easy, don't get me wrong here. It isn't. It's hard and demanding work, and while I don't have to put in as much time as others, I do about an hour a day of weeding and planting, not to mention bug patrol. We don't have pesticides, so all that is done by hand. Literally: we have to squish them. Gross, but effective.

I know this isn't the most exciting subject to read about, but it is pretty exciting for us that do it. It keeps us busy, fulfills a need, and gives us a reason to feel pride. Now that the rain has given us a good break, our efforts will redouble to try and make up for lost time.

Today will be another work day here in my office, but tomorrow Jess and I are heading north a ways to check on a lead. There's supposed to be a town in Indiana not too far across the river from Louisville that might have some canned food. We're trying to grab what we can when we find it, and the scout that went out to look for food is one of our own, so I trust this tip. He didn't get very close to the place we're going after since there was a fair-sized herd of zombies near it, but from the road he got the impression that the store had been locked up early on, no broken windows that he could see. Worth the trip to find out. Plus, Jess and I want to spend a bit more time outside the walls than we've been able to up to this point. Yesterday was nice, but we were only gone about two hours.

We'll be gone all day tomorrow, so I probably won't post on here. It won't just be me and the wife, either. We'll be part of a team and under the Jamie's command. He's leading this one, and I want him to know that he has my full attention. So, no fiddling with my phone...

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