It's the tenth of March, and the planting will begin in exactly ten days. We can't be sure there won't be a hard frost after that, but Jess has enough hardy crops ready to go in the ground that we shouldn't lose many to the cold. Spring is here. The time when the world resumes all the activities it put aside when the harsh winter followed the winding down of fall.
Now more than ever I think that applies to us as well. We've worked hard for the last three years to make our little corner of creation a better, safer place. We've invested time and effort into recreating at least minimal technology, and now that the ground is softening and work conditions improving we can start to reap dividends on those investments.
Though all of us have grown accustomed to how harsh the winter months are without things like central heat, this time of year always brings relief. I imagine it's how humans many hundreds of years ago must have felt; a sense of elation and power at having defeated the elements for another year.
It's obvious even on the most subtle of us. Big K came into the office today with a smile on his face and a pep in his step. He's sitting next to me now, wearing a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and a pair of knee-length shorts. K has been chatting all morning about a shipment that came in last night and how he helped unload it. It's good to see him getting out there and integrating with the community, getting to know people as he helps out. I worry about him not having those connections. God knows I'm bad about keeping up with my friends.
If Will and Patrick didn't stop over here as often as they do I probably wouldn't see them at all. Can't remember the last time I went to visit Becky in her little lab. While she technically still lives here, she hasn't slept anywhere but the cot in her lab for ages. I guess the difference is that I have a lot of people I can rely on, who are there for me as they know I am for them even if we don't visit with each other often or deeply. K doesn't have that. It's a very positive development that the cruel weather turning kind is encouraging him to get out and about. It means there's hope that he will find positive things and integrate with the rest of us.
Don't think it's all sunshine and bunny rabbits here in New Haven. We haven't forgotten about the UAS. In fact, word has spread that the massive staging ground swelling with people whose origin we can't quite figure out is on the verge of a mobilization. We don't know for sure when it will come, but the mysterious and large numbers of people appearing (possibly from the bunkers?) are bolstering the forces aimed at the Union, the western communities, and the empty northern space currently being used by most of us for travel between the two halves of the country.
Every shred of data we have says they'll be coming soon. To say we're not afraid would be stupid; any survivor worth their salt has a healthy sense of self-preservation. Fear is the major component of that. But we're not letting that fear rule us, and further? We're ready for a fight if need be. I will regret that necessity right up until it becomes an unavoidable reality. I will regret it afterward, as well, but I'll be shedding those tears on the corpses of my slain enemies.
The mistake would be confusing my compassion and empathy for weakness. That doesn't just go for me, but all of us. This is the season of new life and new beginnings, the time where things grow and the future is most open to cultivation.
But before you can sow, you have to remove any weeds that might choke the life out of your crop.