The New Year for many Wanderlores is most often marked at the time of the Apple Harvest. The Eternal Clock by which they make their calculations is not quite in sync with the dates set by the SolLuna calendar used by those in the icon worlds. Thus, the new year’s celebration either bids farewell to late summer swelter or welcomes the first taste of the crisp autumn weather to come depending on the week in which it falls.
The New Year, for those who celebrate it, is a time of reflection, remembering and planning. It is both solemn and joyous. Solemn for contemplating the passing of time, joyous for anticipating life events yet to occur.
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 Wanderlore 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 Wanderlores’ New Year, let me offer you a fond memory of my sister, Poppy, and I walking down to a swiftly flowing spring that originated in the Wanderlore Grove.
It was there, at the turning of the year, that we 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. We watched as the crumbs of tears, sorrows and disappointments were carried away. The stream wouldn’t stop until it reached 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 said, clearly troubled.
“A stomachache is more likely,” I countered, especially since we were the ones who made the bread that the breadcrumbs had come from.
Yet, my flippant remark hid my own deep concern. If our discarded memories were not discarded 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
*though I have since embraced a non-binary gender identity, I still relish the “sisterhood” that Poppy and I once shared.