Saturday, March 24, 2012

To Sow

I've been especially wordy lately. It's not from a deep-seated desire to run my mouth, but springs instead from a need to cover a lot of continuing situations. From hated enemies to intra-community politics to new threats from the zombie swarms.

Today, I will for once keep it short. I always say that, but I really mean it. Today is the seventh day in a row of temperatures above fifty degrees in the morning. Jessica made the call last night: today is the sowing.

That's a big deal for us. Today (and we've been at it for hours. Lunch break for the win!) we plant the first round of crops. Well, the first serious round. These aren't clover seeds or other wild-growth foods. We're putting the seedlings Jess has been cultivating so carefully into the earth.

It's one of the few times almost all of us are working together at the same time. It's not exactly a peaceful, hand-holding lovefest. There are people standing around the area with weapons. Guards patrol the repaired walls of the annex. The occasional shout can be heard, sometimes with the sharp hum of a bow firing, as zombies come too close.

One of the biggest problems people have with the world is what should be easiest: getting along. Planting crops is a microcosm for the larger situation. We gather together to do as a unit what we can't accomplish alone. As we crawl across the rows of plowed dirt, we work next to people we may not know. May not like. There might even be harsh words or silent glares.

So it goes with the work and with our lives. Despite rough edges, bad feelings, or any other factors, we come together. Idealized songs and stories about working together, love, and happiness always seemed empty to me, and far more so now. Not because the sentiment is empty, but because they always seemed to ignore the hard parts. Making things work is, well, work. And honestly, the effort is what makes the rewards truly satisfying.

We aren't singing songs about togetherness. Instead, we're living them.

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