Is there a promised land orchard?
|A fire blazed in the middle of our camp. It was a somber night. Our journey was growing long and our motivation running low.
It had been nineteen days since we left the city. Mere days after the collapse. We took a route through the forest, to avoid meeting others. Our path was rough, but the congregation would only lead to more conflict.
That was not the only reason. My grandmother had spun a fanciful tale, of a literally unbelievable orchard she visited as a child. In a crumbling world, where our entire lives were manufactured, picking food from a tree would be a rejuvenating beacon of hope.
The fire was a danger. We were no longer under cover of trees. The light carried far, and the smoke painted a trail towards us. We'd seen and fought, the desperation of others. But we were cold and wet from the earlier rain. It was deemed worth the risk.
Sunshine broke over the horizon. We lifted ourselves from the ground and trodded further, hoping, but strongly doubting, today would be the one. The old lady's tales felt more like fantasy with every passing day.
A hill, which at this point presented as a towering mountain, crossed on our path. Begrudgingly we scaled to its crest.
Our breath held in surprise.
A lone tree awaited us.
I picked a yellow fruit from its branches. It was sour. It was delicious.
Our campfire that night heralded a new song. One of the lemon tree sentry, welcoming us to the bountiful orchard sprawling the other side of the hill.