Lit by rising spring sunshine, a promise of warmth in the air, fields of dew-sparkled grass carpet our immediate world. The heady moist scent of loam invades our senses with its warm, earthy perfume. A morning symphony of bird chirps is welcome music to our ears. But in the face of such serene beauty, I feel only pressing anxiety; my heart is cold. Belying the tranquility of Mother Nature's springtime canvas is the inevitability of our looming struggle. It is to be war again; it is essential that our enemy be engaged.
I observe him, my warrior hero, from behind as he resolutely surveys the fighting grounds, rapidly scanning the tree-lined borders. Shoulders squared, combat tested, highly alert, he instantly senses my presence. Unwelcome, I have interrupted his pensive solitude.
"Again?" I ask. "Is there not a chance that...."
"No!" My dreams of peace are shattered in a single reality-grounding word. "The invasion has already begun."
"You seem troubled. Just how bleak is our situation?" Stone-faced, brow furrowed, he stiffly turns to face me. His somber expression reveals all. This is an invasion of substantial magnitude. The enemy this time has even more aggressively re- entered our territory.
"Will this conflict never end?" I despair.
"Look", the order is barked. His hand gestures, sweeping the breadth of the battlefield. I stare blankly at this stage of war. It is as if I am blind. My vision captures nothing of what his conflict experienced eyes spot. I wishfully see green fields; he espies an approaching green camouflaged army in helmeted heads.
In my heart I sense that he is battle weary. These ongoing renewals of hostility have proven to be hopelessly endless; they have taken their toll. At times, our desperate skirmishes appear futile. "Would surrender be easier?" I wonder. Knowing all too well what his response to my surrender proposal would be, I remain silent. "Failure is not an option. If we walk away, they will take over. They will win", would be his not too patient retort.
"You are just one man", I press. "Isn't it time someone else picked up this torch and carried it forward?"
"What? Mercenaries?" In disgust and evading confrontation, he turns back, strategically studying the battle setting and plotting the upcoming assault. His attention riveted, I fade into insignificance. His shoulder muscles twitch in nervous anticipation. The sinister glint of metal draws my attention to his right side where his hand opens and closes, unconsciously exercising on the hilt of an angry jagged-edged dagger. Eerie calmness pervades. In this arena, he knows no fear. Close combat, I know, is his forte. He has been here before.
Not to be denied, our day of reckoning has arrived. Judging the moment right, my warrior hero moves forward with a surge of energy. "Good luck", I whisper. The year is 2013. Let our annual battle with spring dandelions begin!