The breeze from the Pacific swoops down into the vineyard to caress the tangy fruits we will harvest at the end of the month and pushes through the pecan grove’s thick cloud of green. The season smells of spices and meat burning over an open fire. Beagles wander around looking for children to play with and golden retrievers chase shadows through the orchards, geese lounge at the side of the pond where the pecans turn to apples and nest under the platform of an unfinished gazebo.
Cattle graze in the pasture and the horses in the corral are restless to race the wind. The wheat is high and the corn stalks are green and a father and his sons are herding sheep from one fenced paddock to another, a mother and her small child feed the chickens that have congregated in her yard. Teenage boys on dirt bikes race to the river, young girls with their arms wrapped tightly around their chests. A flock of birds resting in the trees scatter at the sound of the rolling thunder.
The village is empty except for a wandering tourist sketching in his book and young couples in courtship enjoying an afternoon glass of wine at the only café in town and trying to find the moment designed for stealing a kiss or two. The stalls of the Saturday market have come down and the vendors and traders cart off their remaining goods, and enjoy the rest of the day with their families in the park where local musicians will perform and a screen will be set up to view old movies when the sun sets, and enterprising children will wander the crowed selling candies and pastries and soft drinks and beer to those taking their well earned rest.
Out beyond the borders of this rustic but refined little community there is chaos and confusion, misery and hostility... anger, poverty, hatred, greed, and fear. But nestled between the Pacific and the Andes, hidden deep in the center of an old forest is a town unknown to the world and its occupants wish to keep it that way. There is no poverty and no one goes hungry - food is plenty and there is work for all and not an idle moment for the young or wasted time on activities such as video games or facebook when nature and the wild is your back yard, there is no illness of body or mind, so there is no pharmacy. Wealth among this tribe is counted in the number of children one has, so there is no bank to loan out money or profit from debt and interest - goods are bartered or traded or bought with silver and gold. There is no soul destroying madness induced by traffic to get to a dream killing job and back - here the traffic is a slow moving tractor and lazy sheep, horses and motor cycles. Every person has a purpose, from the seamstress and the bee keeper to the soldier patrolling the borders of the forest. Fear and weakness are foreign ideas to these people who build this community with their own hands, carving out stone for their homes and farming on land they were told could not be farmed, harvesting water from the earth and thin air, harnessing electricity from day light - enough for everyone. They are strong of body and spirit, calm and confident of the mind. The men are brave, brutish, hard working and proud. The women are feminine and gentle. Their daughters are well educated, modest and family oriented. Their sons are disciplined - but I wont lie to you (dear reader), they are as boys should be... curious, adventurous, and rowdy.
Ah... but do not let the serenity of this community or the gentle nature of its folk fool you, this is a warrior tribe and every one is well trained in the martial arts and armed to the teeth. They did not run off into the woods to escape the madness and the chaos of the modern world out of fear - they left to build an army and they will return to conquer and pillage, to destroy your cities and burn the weak and unfaithful and those who manage to survive the conquest that is to come will submit to The Cross or be sold off as slaves to other would be conquerors. But until the days of fire comes... there is harmony and peace in the lost village of the forest.