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- "We want people to be able to sleep easy, and that means we can't sleep at all. It's a responsibility I accepted a long time ago."
- — Idil Abdi
She sees some that relax into the spirit of the holiday, like it's a well-fitting glove. They dance. They sing. They play games and give gifts and laugh. She doesn't need to worry about them. Even with all their burdens, they can find time to relax and celebrate, just for a little while.
There are others, though, who can't slow down. They see the decorations and ask, "Isn't it too soon to celebrate?" They know their work isn't over just because the Tower looks warmer than usual. They've seen all the cold out in the system that can't be reconciled with warm, cheerful traditions. They know, keenly, what's at stake. They want the people to be able to have these holidays, but they feel they can't participate—not when there's still so much to do. It's irresponsible.
These are the ones she seeks out, because they hang around the edges of the celebration, sullen or stunned or grieving. Some are sad. Some are angry. They lash out at her, but they always apologize. Some feel guilty, because they want to be part of it. They just can't let themselves.
Sometimes they can only participate through work, and so she gives it to them. Other times, all she does is talk to them and then, implicitly, gives them permission to stand on the sidelines, if that's what they really want. But she reminds them that the Dawning—and the Festival of the Lost, and the Solstice, and the Revelry—will always welcome them back when they're finally able to stop and take a breath. She hopes that day comes soon.
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