So much of the focus around the compound lately has been given to our food shortages, the large zombie attack that almost wiped us out, and the tension between so many of our people that some things have just been ignored. It's understandable considering how important all that has been, but for the moment we've got more than enough to eat, our rebellious faction has been exiled, and the undead are attacking only in small groups. So...
There's been a debate going on for a long time now inside the compound. It's been a quiet one, talked about over dinner or in the spaces between work and off-time. The question has been raised time and again whether or not we should rename this place. We've been calling it "the compound" for so long that it's stuck as a name, but it still sounds to many of us (including me, and I named the damn place) like a place where cultists join together to challenge authority and drink kool-aid.
I miss kool-aid.
There have been a lot of names thrown into the hat, but none of them have struck a chord with anyone. It's hard enough to name a pet, much less something as big as a community. How can we come together as a group to choose a name that represents all of us and what we stand for? It's daunting, let me tell you.
The thing is, we all really want to come up with a new name. "The Compound" works, but it doesn't describe us in any way. We've evolved and changed, and we want a name that inspires.
The other day I pointed out that our group has been relatively lucky in that we hadn't faced many of the privations that other groups of survivors have. I noted how that had all changed, and it has--we're dealing with every single problem that could have arisen pretty much all at once.
Things are getting better. We've been teetering on the edge of starvation, and now we've working our way out of that hole. It's slow going, but several days of good hunting and great fishing means three full meals a day. Some of us are even starting to gain some weight back.
Our walls, so sorely tested during the recent siege of zombies, are being rebuilt and reinforced. My brother Dave is even planning a HUGE project that I'll be shedding light on tomorrow. He's got to double check a few things first, but it's looking good...
Those of us that are left now that the most extreme of the homesteaders have left are a pretty cohesive group. I once worried that the food problems would lead people to move against one another, cause strife and discord among the compound's citizens. Thankfully, I was wrong there. Maybe it was everyone seeing how our own children sacrificed for the safety of all, or perhaps we're just held together as a people by our compassion for each other, but I was wonderfully wrong.
What's in a name? All those things. Every man, woman, and child who shared with someone in greater need despite their own hunger. Every person who stood their ground when the hordes came, who shed blood and sweat to defend our home in the face of overwhelming odds. Our name should say something as well about a person who fights against the odds, the hunger making her weak, to dedicate herself to making something that benefits all.
You may be able to understand now why choosing a name is so difficult for us. We've been beaten terribly in the last few weeks, but we're alive. Gloriously, wonderfully alive. When a forest burns, for a time it may seem dead, defeated.
But it's never long before shoots of green burst from the blackened floor, and a whole new forest grows.