According to the Eternal Clock, by which they live their lives, the Travelers start the new year at the time of the apple harvest. Not quite in sync with the dates set by the SolLuna calendar used by those in the icon worlds, the new year’s celebration of the Tribe either bids farewell to summertime or welcomes the season of fall.
The new year is a time of reflection, remembering and planning. It is both solemn and joyous. Solemn for contemplating the passing of time, joyous for anticipating events that are yet to come.
The best Wine of Remembrance is made this time of year. The wine is distilled from pomegranates, berries and the gems of crystalized time. I share from my own collection of preserved memories with those special people I have invited into my life who wish to know what growing up in the Gypsy Grove near Cratersville was like.
Since my stash of spirits is quite limited, I also share my memories in another way—by encapsulating those heady moments of childhood past in the amber of paper-captured words that will hopefully long outlive my potent collection of bottled time.
In honor of the New Year, I offer you this memory of my sister Poppy and I walking down to the swiftly flowing spring that originated in the Gypsy Grove. There, at the turning of the year, we would cast the breadcrumbs we had in our pockets into the clear, cool water racing by our feet.
The bread was symbolic of memories we didn’t wish to keep. Once cast upon the water, the crumbs of tears, sorrows and disappointments would be carried away into the Neverland of Celestial Stars well outside the boundaries of the grove where our happier moments would live on.
How many of our offerings made it to their final destination we would never know. The stream was inhabited by tiny creatures we had created by our own hand, and we always wondered if our castaway crumbs were left alone or eaten by our secret progeny.
“It will give them bad dreams,” Poppy would argue.
“A stomachache is more likely,” I would counter, especially since we were the ones who made the bread that the breadcrumbs had come from.
My flippant remark wasn’t only for jest, it hid a deep concern. If our discarded memories were not dispatched of properly, would they end up coming back to haunt us? I already knew that we couldn’t play with our Magic forever without something bad happening. After all, those were some of the very memories we had just cast away.
But, those were worries for another day.
For now, the memory I wish for you to keep is of two young girls climbing up through the tall weeds of late summer, arguing over silly things, because no matter the outcome, that moment is as sweet as any new year can hope to be.
—Jellybean Reds, Creator of Little Creatures