[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
Not even Tala was there when we arrived, and for that I was absurdly thankful, settling in to start coffee while J.T. hunted down the requisite supplies to make the hash browns and eggs he promised. I laid Lin down in one of the moses baskets near the log benches—we’d started keeping at least two in the area so we wouldn’t have to lug them around. It made my heart ache a little to think that soon enough, Tala’s twins would be big enough to climb out of them soon, and after we hit that milestone it’d only be a matter of time for Lin and Anne and Artorius.
That’s why we keep fighting though, isn’t it? So they have somewhere safe to grow up. So they can grow up and live lives and find a purpose beyond just surviving—so we can find a purpose beyond just surviving.
After all, we’re not just living for them, are we? We’re living for us, too.
“You’ve got that look again,” J.T. said quietly as he rounded up a bowl of eggs, likely gathered the night before from the chickens that Stasia had managed to round up and coop. The hens could be vicious little beasties, but when they laid, they laid and had kept us in eggs for more than a month now. Every time we managed another feat like that, it felt like a minor miracle, even though intellectually, I know people had been doing it for thousands of years. Rediscovering it all, though, somehow that was strange and different.
And somehow, magical.
I smiled at J.T. as I filled a kettle and set it over the coals to heat, then started to stir the embers back to life. “Nothing bad,” I said. “Just thinking.”
“But nothing bad,” he said, casting a skeptical look at me. I had to laugh.
“Nothing bad,” I promised. “Just thinking about life.”
“Well, it’s sure as hell better than thinking about death, right?”
One corner of his mouth quirked upward into a smile and he nodded. “It certainly is at that.”
I nodded back and started to ready one of the French presses, then got down a pair of mugs. “Just thinking about why we’re doing this, that’s all. And about chickens.”
“Are you going to keep repeating everything I say?”
He just grinned. I rolled my eyes.
“Most of us are. It’s why we’re still alive.”
I couldn’t argue with that—nor did I want to. I just grinned and sat back to wait while he started to crack eggs.
Someday, the everyday miracles would stop being magical. But that day wasn’t the day for it. That day, they were still magical and miraculous and wonderful, and we were still alive and all of us were together—and safe, or as safe as we could be.
If I had anything to say or do about it, we’d stay that way for a long, long time.