Reverie's Journal
written by Princess Silver Swirl

Sandstone blinked as he entered the attic of his familyís home. Unlike the dark stairway that led to it, the big attic had several large windows. Rays of light poured in from the sunset sky outside, making the swirling dust in the air look golden and giving the room a friendly, comforting atmosphere.

ďLetís see where I put that pile of papers,Ē Sandstone muttered. His twin sister, Wish, a magic specialist, had asked him to find an old report which the stallion had stored away long ago. ďMaybe it was this box...Ē The box contained many old handmade toys from Wish and Sandstoneís foalhood, but no papers except a messy picture of a tree drawn by Wish.

Next Sandstone tried a huge trunk. This one looked somewhat more promising; he could smell the musty scent of old paper. However, it seemed to hold only some wooden carvings done by the twinsí father, Sunray, that had been deemed unworthy of being hung in the house. What, then, was the source of the paper smell? Perplexed, Sandstone searched deeper. Aha! He pulled out the object from the bottom of the trunk and held it up to the light. His eyes went wide.

It was a small brown book. This in itself was unusual; paper was somewhat difficult to obtain on Sunset Island, so books were rather uncommon and generally regarded as treasures. To leave a book sitting in the attic was ridiculous. This, however, was not the reason for Sandstoneís surprise. The cover of the book had two words written on it in blue ink: Reverieís Journal.

Sandstone sat down slowly on the sun-warmed attic floor, never taking his eyes off of the book. He opened it very slowly, as if frightened that it would turn to dust. It didnít, so he began to read.

* * *

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Reverie, and this is my journal. I guess I should explain some things before I start really writing. First, Aunt Unity and Mother and Father and everyone said that when you write in a journal, you should say ďDear JournalĒ at the beginning of each entry, but I think thatís silly. Itís not as if the journalís going to read itself! I donít really know who will read it, so thatís why I wrote ďTo Whom It May Concern.Ē I think that sounds more interesting, anyway.

I got this journal because itís my birthday-- I have now seen eight summers. Aunt Unity gave it to me. Father says that I am very lucky, and hardly any foals have their own journals. Itís funny: sometimes I agree with them that Iím lucky, but other times I think Iím not.

Here are some facts about myself: I am light blue with a purple mane and tail and purple eyes. Mother says that Iíll be beautiful when I grow up. My magic power is that I can give other ponies magic powers. I am good at swimming and climbing trees and telling stories. Someday, I want to sail away from this island and find other, magical lands far away. Thatís mostly what I make up stories about. I donít tell my stories to Mother or Father or Aunt Unity, because they think itís silly to want to explore. I tell them to Sunray instead, and sometimes Willow.

I should probably explain about Sunray. Sunray is my best friend. I met him two summers ago. He likes a lot of the same things I like, and he loves my stories. He makes good snacks, too. Every day I meet him in the forest and we explore and eat the snacks he brings and I tell my stories. His favorite is the one about the land where itís always night, and all the ponies go around with special hats with candles in them so they can see. I like the one about the land in a bubble under the ocean best.

Mother says I have to stop writing and spend some time with the family. I will write more tomorrow.

To Whom It May Concern:

Today I am going to write more about myself. Writing a journal is harder than I thought-- my thoughts keep running all over the place and itís hard to keep them in order. Here are the things and ponies that I like:

My ferrets: Bluebell, Petunia, and Poppy


The wind


My family

Willow, the old mare in the tree house in the forest

Here are the things I like to do:



Telling stories

Writing in my journal

Giving other ponies magic powers

Sunray says I should tell how we met Willow since it was an adventure and adventures are the best things to write about. So here it is.

One day, Sunray and I were by the river. We were eating coconuts that he had hollowed out and stuffed with nuts and honey. He makes the best snacks. Anyway, we heard somebody screaming, so we ran towards the noise. There on a flat rock was an old mare, and there was a big, evil-looking snake right next to her. It was about to bite her, and its markings showed that it was poisonous! I thought quickly and I gave Sunray the magic power to levitate the snake away from the mare. He used the power, and made the snake go away into the bushes. I guess I should have given him the power to kill it, since it was poisonous, but I get sad whenever I kill something, even if itís just a bug. Anyway, the mare was really upset (I would be too if a snake had almost bitten me) and she just lay there for twenty-five counts (Sunray counted). Then she got up and she said her name was Willow and that we were very brave and she asked us what our names were. We told her and she invited us over to her house for lunch. We said Ďyesí even though weíd already eaten, because we wanted to be polite and because Willow was nice. Then she led us to her house, which is in a tree. She built it all by herself, and itís the best house on the island, I think. Maybe the best house in the world. The only way to get up is by a ladder that she built into the tree. Willow explained that she was worried that someday she wouldnít be able to climb the ladder because sheís old and she has arthritis. So I gave her the magic power of being able to lubricate (that means oil, Father says) her joints by saying the word ďWillow.Ē She thanked me many times and I felt really good. It feels nicer to give someone a magic power when they didnít ask for it. And thatís how we met Willow.

I donít think Iíll be able to write tomorrow because I have to go to the other side of the island. Two ponies had a foal and he only has one magic power and they really want him to have two, so Iím going to give him another one. Itís kind of funny: I have only one magic power and nobody ever complains about it.

To Whom It May Concern:

Today I am going to write about my trip to the other side of the island, which was yesterday. The other side of the island is far away, too far for me to walk, so I got to ride in the wheelbarrow. Mostly we used the path, but there were some times that we had to go through the forest. It was very bumpy when we went through the forest, and Mother said that some ponies are talking about making more paths. They probably wonít though because most ponies think we donít really need so many paths. Iím glad. I like the forest just the way it is.

Anyway, we got to the home of Birch and Ruby, the parents of that new foal I mentioned in the day before yesterdayís entry. Their colt is named Truth; heís yellow with a pale green mane and tail and heís very cute. Ruby said they want him to have an extra power because the only one he has is the power to walk on water and thatís almost useless. I think thatís a really good power; Iíd rather have that than the power I have. I could walk right across the ocean and find some magical place just for me. Birch asked for Truth to have the power of always being able to find his way home. Mother and Father said that that was an okay power for me to grant, so I did. They usually let me grant whatever ponies ask for, but once in awhile they say no. The times they said no were when a pony asked to be able to live forever and when a pony asked to be able to get whatever she wished for. I am going to keep track of the times they say no to a request, because that means that the request is something bad and I think itís important for me to know when something is bad.

After I gave Truth his new power, Ruby and Birch let us stay for lunch. Ponies usually do something nice for my family after I give them a power. That makes me feel good, because Iím helping my family, just like a grown-up.

To Whom It May Concern:

Iím sorry I havenít written in a few days. I hope whoever is reading this isnít disappointed not to hear from me. I never knew writing a journal would be a responsibility, but I suppose it is. Thatís okay, Iím used to responsibility. Itís fun to wonder who might read this. Maybe even one of my own descendants! Anyway, I had another adventure the day before yesterday and I have a new pony that I admire. Her name is Spirit. She is a dark, dark purple unicorn with a light blue and pink mane and tail, and her eyes are a wonderful aqua color (I wish I had aqua eyes like that). Thatís not why I admire her though; I admire her because of the adventure I had.

I was playing in the forest, without Sunray because he had to clean his room. His parents are very into neatness. Anyway, I heard some noises that sounded like ponies talking so I went to investigate. I came out of the forest and I saw a group of ponies-- not adults yet, but not foals either. They saw me too, and one of them said, ďHey, itís the little pony who grants magic powers.Ē Another one said, ďGive us magic powers, Reverie.Ē I told them that I couldnít because I was only allowed to give powers if my parents were there and approved. I also said that they asked very rudely. Most of them laughed, but one got angry. This one pony said, ďGive me the power to change my appearance or else!Ē So I said ďOr else what?Ē I was trying to act brave, but I was a little but scared. Then Spirit came.

She stepped between the mean pony and me and glared. ďSheís just a foal. Leave her alone,Ē she said. I could tell that the other pony was scared of her. I guess I might be scared of her if she was angry at me-- sheís really strong-looking, and she has a powerful voice. Then she said, ďLetís go do something else,Ē and all of the other ponies followed her away. Before she left, she waved at me and I waved back.

I want to be like that when I grow up-- brave and strong and nice to foals. I told Mother and Father that I want to be just like Spirit, and they were rather shocked. They said Spirit was not a good pony to be like because she was too wild. Itís funny; she didnít seem wild to me. I donít know if Iíll be able to write every day anymore. Planting time starts tomorrow and my family counts on me to help.

To Whom It May Concern:

Today was Sunrayís birthday! We had a party at Willowís house, just the three of us. Well, I brought the ferrets too. One of the reasons I like Willow is that she isnít afraid of the ferrets. Most grown-ups are; even my parents donít like them very much. Sunray was going to bring snacks but Willow said that he shouldnít have to since it was his birthday. So she made tea and muffins for us. Her snacks arenít as interesting as Sunrayís, but they are good. She also gave Sunray a picture that she painted for a birthday present. I asked Mother and Father if I could give Sunray a magic power for a birthday present and they said yes. I gave him the power of seeing in the dark as well as if it were day. He was really pleased. Itís fun to be able to give presents that no one else can give.

Anyway, something special happened after the party. Sunray and I were on our way home, and I had an idea. You see, Sunray wants to explore someday just like me. So I said, ďLetís promise each other that someday weíll sail off to explore together.Ē So we shook hooves and promised. It felt so very solemn, like we were grown-ups. I canít wait to get older so we can sail away and discover all of the lands I make up stories about!

I made up a new land today too. Itís not really a land at all though. Itís a bunch of wooden rafts all tied together so they make a whole island. Each pony has her own little house on one of the rafts, and they even have gardens in pots so they have things to eat. And whenever they get bored of being where they are, the all take out their paddles and row their island to another place. Itís time for me to go to bed now-- more later!

To Whom It May Concern:

I think I should explain some things. I lost this journal a few days after the last entry, and I only found it today. Some changes have occurred since then, not the least of which is that I have now seen twelve summers. Hopefully my writing style has improved a bit. Lots of things have stayed the same though; I still live with Mother and Father, although Aunt Unity got married and now lives with my new uncle. I am still friends with Sunray and Willow, who still lives in her wonderful tree house. Itís funny; itís been four summers, but it seems like Iím the only one whoís really changed. Well, Sunrayís changed too.

Sunray doesnít want to sail away anymore. I think his parents talked him out of it; theyíve always had a great deal of influence over him. Like most grown-ups, they believe that this island is the only land in this whole world. I think thatís ridiculous; why would there be a whole world with only one island in it? I made a promise to myself last summer that however much anyone tries to persuade me otherwise, I would always believe that there is more land out there. I think I would wither up and die if I stopped believing. Apparently, Sunray isnít the same way.

It started last rainy season, when he started being less interested in my stories. At first I thought my storytelling skills were fading, but even when I thought up extra-special stories he didnít react the way he used to. He still enjoyed the stories, but he thought of them as just that-- stories, not possibilities and definitely not our future. Finally, I cornered him (I seem to have a habit of doing that; I just canít bear to keep things hidden) and asked if he still wanted to go explore someday as we had promised. After much beating about the bush, he said no. I released him from the promise and told him that I wasnít angry with him. Then I went home and cried.

I guess Iíll have to explore alone now, but I donít care. I wonít let anything stop me.

To Whom It May Concern:

Itís hard to get back into the habit of writing. Not much happened today; lately I feel like less and less happens each day. It makes me want to leave the island more than ever. One nice thing has happened lately, though; Mother and Father told me that I am now old enough to decide whether or not to grant a ponyís request for a new magic power. Little do they know the plan I have.

You see, I think this island has come to rely too much on my power. Ponies are asking for powers for completely insignificant reasons, like that they want to impress others, and my parents let me grant their requests. Skies above, itís disgusting. Ponies are judging each other on how many powers they have, not on their true merits, and I have been helping. I will help no more; I plan to seriously cut down on the giving of magic powers. I will, of course, still give them to ponies who really need them, but not for petty reasons. I never realized things like this when I was younger, but I know now that I have power, power that I can use for good or bad. Before I leave this island, I want to change it for the better.

To Whom It May Concern:

Sunray and I went to visit Willow today, and she wasnít feeling very well. She says that sheís getting old. Itís funny; I always knew that she was old, and she had arthritis, but she was so full of life that she never seemed old. Now her tiredness has sucked the life out of her, turned her pale face grayish. It frightens me. I am going to write a description of her, just in case she is not with us much longer.

Willow is a very pale green. Her mane and tail are dark pink with white streaks. Her eyes are also dark pink, and very kind-looking. She has wrinkles all over her face, but theyíre kind looking ones. Even though she is old, she is strong and limber. She has a soft, low voice thatís perfect for lullabies. And, most of all, she believes in me.

I told Willow about my ambition the first time that Sunray and I met her-- the time we went to her house for lunch even though we werenít hungry. Now, most adult ponies laugh when I tell them about wanting to explore, or worse, they frown and say that Iím too old to believe in such childish things. Willow just smiled, though, and told me to stay true to my dream no matter what. And I have, even though Sunray changed his mind. I still find myself getting angry with him about that sometimes. But thatís not about Willow.

Willow is a wonderful artist-- she paints the most gorgeous pictures on little pieces of wood. Once I told her about some of the lands Iíd imagined, and the next time I visited she had four perfect little pictures of them-- one of the land in the bubble, one of the place where itís always night, one of the island thatís shaped like a ring where the ponies live on boats, and one of the island thatís one huge garden. These pictures are my greatest treasures; they bring my dreams to life in a whole new way. Someday, perhaps someday soon, they will serve another purpose as well-- to remind me of Willow.

I probably sound morbid, expecting her to die so soon, but I figure that Iíll get hurt less if I prepare myself. I talked a little bit to Sunray about it, but he doesnít believe it, or doesnít want to believe it. I feel sad about him; I have a feeling heís going to take it harder than I will. I hope Iíll be able to help.

To Whom It May Concern:

I was right. Willow has passed on. Sunray and I went to her tree house yesterday and she was... no longer living. I cried a little bit and Sunray cried a lot, and then we got our parents. Willow was buried in the forest she loved, near the roots of the great tree that was her home. My parents had never met her, and neither had Sunrayís parents, but I think they knew how special she was. There was lots of stuff left in her house-- it felt just like before, except that she was gone. My parents asked Sunray and me if we wanted to take anything to remember her by, but we decided not to. I already have my pictures, and I gave two of them to Sunray. It wouldnít feel right to take anything else.

My parents tried to comfort me, and I expect Sunrayís family did the same for him. For me, though, it didnít really help. Iíd done all of my crying already; Iíd been prepared. Nothing lasts forever, and I have to move on. Iíll miss her though. Sunray says that he never wants to go back to the tree house, but I still want to. When Iím there, it feels like Willowís spirit is all around me, and thatís more comforting than anything my parents tell me. In some ways, I think Willowís tree house was more my home than my parentsí house.

To Whom It May Concern:

A very strange thing happened yesterday. I was in the forest, as I generally am when Iím not giving powers, and I decided to go to Willowís home. I climbed the tree, and at first, everything seemed normal. Then I noticed that there was a pony huddling in the corner under one of Willowís quilts. It was Spirit, the same Spirit who had defended me from those bullies four summers ago; but skies above, how she had changed!

She was no longer the strong, confident pony sheíd been. She was much thinner, and there was a haunted, hollow look in her face. Her fur was dirty, and her mane and tail were matted. Even her horn was less shiny than it had been, and she was trembling.

ďSpirit?Ē I asked. Even then, I wasnít quite sure that it was her.

ďReverie!Ē she answered. Her voice had changed too; it was thin and reedy. ďOh, Reverie, please donít tell anyone Iím here! Please!Ē I promised her that I wouldnít tell anyone, and I helped her get set up. Itís funny; a few days ago I would have thought it sacrilege to let anyone else stay in Willowís house, but Spirit obviously needed a home; and I know that Willow would have helped her. I tried to ask Spirit what had happened, but the only answer she would give was that she was in trouble. I am going to visit her with food every couple of days.

I wonder what she did to get in such terrible trouble. Suppose Iím harboring a criminal! Part of me wants to tell Mother and Father, but Spirit made me promise not to. Besides, Mother and Father donít like Spirit, and they might get her into even worse trouble-- then Iíd be betraying the pony who had saved me. What really helped me make up my mind, though, was Willow. One of the things she often said was, ďDo what you have to do, but follow your heart.Ē I listened to my heart as hard as I could, and it told me to help Spirit.

To Whom It May Concern:

Yesterday, I refused to grant a request for a magic power for the first time. The request was made by Burl, a stallion who lives fairly nearby. He loves cooking, and he wanted the power of being able to heat food magically. And, for the first time in my life, I said no.

Burl and my parents were shocked. Burl protested that it wasnít a dangerous power. I replied that it wasnít a power he needed either. It was then that my parents decided that it was time for a little talk with me. They pulled me aside and whispered that there was nothing wrong with granting powers that werenít desperately needed. So I tried to explain to them about how my gift was really hurting the island. They looked very surprised when I finished. Then I told Burl again that, though I was sorry, his request would not be granted.

He was very displeased. He practically begged for me to grant his request, finally revealing that he had only one magic power and felt ashamed because his siblings each had two. Then I made a mistake. I said, ďI canít do any magic at all, and I survive, donít I?Ē I thought it was quite a logical argument. Burl didnít.

ďYouíve always lived the life of a little star!Ē he roared. ďHow dare you try to identify with us common ponies?Ē For a moment, he looked like he was going to slap me, but he didnít. My parents, although they didnít quite approve of my decision, backed me up. Then we went home.

Iíve been pondering the meaning of Burlís words. Do I really have advantages over other ponies? Itís true that ponies tend to help my family out after I give them a magic power, but itís never been that big of a deal-- just inviting us over for dinner or giving us a few potted plants. Perhaps they do more that I donít know about. Maybe this whole house was built by ponies grateful for my gift. Maybe thatís why my parents donít want me to put my plan into action. Maybe if I donít grant any requests, weíll all starve to death. It worries me. I think Iím going to ask Spirit about it.

To Whom It May Concern:

I asked Spirit yesterday. She smiled and told me not to worry; she said that she knew for a fact that ponies only do little favors for my family. I was very relieved; I really donít want the island to perish without my gift when I leave. Spirit seems a little bit happier and more confident these days, but still nothing like the pony she used to be. It frightens me; I never imagined that anything could change someone so much. If it could happen to Spirit, could it happen to me? Will I someday become a trembling shell of what I once was? But I donít run around with a bunch of wild ponies like Spirit used to. I think-- I hope-- nothing bad will happen to me.

I told Sunray about what happened with Burl yesterday; he agrees with me about The Plan. Itís so nice to have a staunch supporter. Sunray really is a very good friend, even if he broke our promise. I want to tell him about Spirit, but I know she wouldnít approve. I wonder what Sunray would do about Spirit. I never did tell him about that time when I was eight summers old and the bullies threatened me.

My parents talked more to me about requests for magic today. They told me that maybe it would be best if we waited a few summers before placing the full responsibility of it on me. I stood firm though; I told them that it was my gift and my choice as to how and when to use it. They werenít thrilled, but I think they understand that Iím growing up.

To Whom It May Concern:

I found out what Spirit did, and it wasnít bad at all; it was good! Let me explain. Today Aunt Unity and Uncle Valor came to visit, and they told us the news from the other side of the island. It seems that a while ago, Birch and Rubyís best vase, the one with the pearls in it, was stolen. A few ponies found out that Augur, one of those wild ponies that Spirit used to consort with, had taken it. The way they found out was that someone in the group had told them. They refused to tell who it was, but I know that it was Spirit! Augur must have threatened her. I wonder if Augur is the same pony who demanded magic powers from me when I had only seen eight summers.

I am going to talk to Spirit about it. Maybe sheíll let me explain to my family and she could come live with us. That would be nice, like having an older sister. Sunray has an older sister and a younger brother. He claims that theyíre annoying, but I know that he has lots of fun with them. I often wonder what it would be like to belong to someone elseís family. Most foalsí parents are much more... oh, itís hard to explain... much more there. I mean, they donít let their foals run wild in the woods as much, and they spend more time together. I like having my freedom, but the closeness that other families have seems nice too. Oh well, I guess one canít have everything.

To Whom It May Concern:

I canít believe I did it again! That is, I lost this journal. This is getting to be a real problem for me. Iíve been hiding this journal in various places since I got it, and sometimes I hide it a bit too well. This time, however, it hasnít been lost for as long a time. I am now almost fourteen summers old. As before, not that much has changed-- only two things really. The first is that, through a lot of hard work, ponies are coming to rely less on my gift. My parents have come to terms with The Plan as well. Burl even helped me with my garden recently.

The other change is that Spirit is gone. The day after I uncovered her secret, I went to the tree house to talk to her. The tree house was empty. At first I was afraid that Augur or one of the others had come and hurt her, but there were no hoof prints around. I think she used her unicorn magic to wink away. I asked several ponies if they had seen her, but thereís been no news of her anywhere on the island. I believe she might have winked to some other land far away. Perhaps Iíll see her when I go exploring.

Itís doubly sad about her, because I think she was the last unicorn on the island. She was certainly the only one Iíd ever seen since old Venerate died. My parents tell me that there used to be more unicorns, and pegasi (winged ponies) as well. Supposedly they disappeared one by one. I wonder if they all went to the same place and set up a colony there. Maybe Iíll find them someday. It seems like thatís the answer to most of my wonderings.

Each day I feel my longing to explore intensify. I donít know how Iím going to last all of the long summers and rainy seasons ahead; my parents told me that I can only leave the island when I have seen eighteen summers. They still donít believe that Iím really going to leave, but they humor me. I hope they wonít miss me too much.

To Whom It May Concern:

Yesterday there was a great storm, and Willowís tree house fell apart. Sunray and I went to the forest, as usual, and there we saw it-- or what was left of it. Itís funny; I only cried a little bit when Willow died, and I didnít cry at all when Spirit disappeared, but when I saw the remains of the tree house, I wept a river of tears. It was as if I was losing both of them, and something more, all over again. I remember writing once that the tree house was my real home, and I think it was true.

Sunray and I gathered up Willowís things; we decided to donate them to ponies who need them. I think thatís what Willow would have done. While we worked, I told him about Spirit. He said that he thinks I did the right thing. I also told him about my theory that the unicorns and pegasi set up a colony, and how I hope to find them. He nodded, and then he looked sad. I asked him what the problem was.

ďNothing,Ē he said, ďBut Iíll miss you when you leave.Ē It felt very nice, though sad, to think that someone would miss me. Sunray is so nice.

To Whom It May Concern:

Today was my fourteenth birthday. As usual, my parents and relatives gave me some small gifts and then I went to the forest to celebrate with Sunray. We sat by the river in the same place we were when we met Willow and ate the snacks he brought. I wonder where he learned to make snacks; neither of his parents is very interested in cooking.

He gave me a present, too, a necklace with a little flower on it made of real gold. He said that it was his motherís, and she told him that he could give it to me. I put it on and looked at my reflection in the water; I looked elegant and dignified, not the wild forest filly I normally am. Sunray said the necklace looked nicer on me than it did on his mother, which made us both laugh.

I think Iím in love with him.

Skies above, it sounds silly and clichťd. But itís true. I suddenly miss him when heís not around, even though I see him nearly every day. I find myself defending him forcefully whenever anyone criticizes him, and I could list hundreds of other symptoms. I wish Willow were still here; she would be perfect to talk to about this. Spirit would probably have good advice too.

Technically, I could talk to my parents about it, but I donít think it would be a good move. I donít want to remind them of how young I still am. They have to see me as mature and in control; otherwise theyíll never let me leave. Oh, but how will I leave Sunray?

To Whom It May Concern:

Yesterday I granted a blind pony the power to see without his eyes. I get incredibly frustrated about my power sometimes, but occasions like this make it worthwhile. I think I may have made a new friend as well; her name is Mellow, which suits her. Sheís around my age, which is extra nice as Sunray has always been my only friend of my own age. The blind pony is her grandfather, which is how I met her. Her grandfather, whose name is Munificent, has three children. They and their children live with him in the biggest house Iíve ever seen. It made me feel very wistful, seeing that big, close-knit family. Mellow invited me to visit again in a few days.

Iím not sure if you, as readers, understand what a breakthrough this is for me. Dealing with ponies my own age, excepting Sunray, has always been awkward for me. Iím not sure why; maybe itís because Iím the only one who hears the call of the mysteries beyond this island-- Iíve been told that I have a tendency to be somewhat aloof. For whatever reason, I often fidget when talking to my peers, not knowing what to say. But Mellow and I got along quite nicely; she showed me her garden and I told her about mine at home.

It would be wonderful to have another friend, someone to talk to when Sunray is busy. Maybe Mellow would be interested in hearing about the lands Iíve created. And skies above, I just thought of another thing-- I could talk to Mellow about Sunray!

To Whom It May Concern:

I actually had a fairly nice day today-- busy, but busy with pleasant things. I told my parents about the invitation to Mellowís house. They, of course, said that I could go but first warned me that some ponies might pretend to be my friends just to get magic powers. As if I needed the advice-- Iíve experienced that plenty of times, and I can tell that Mellow isnít like that. I may not be able to do any magic, but I can recognize greed.

I did some work on my garden as well; I think itís lovelier than ever this year. I donít believe Iíve written about my garden yet. After Iíd been begging practically all of my life, my parents finally allowed me to have a flower garden of my own when I had seen ten summers. Itís near the base of a hill, and there are two trees in front of it. This hides it from all except those who look carefully. I chose all of my favorite flowers and herbs and laid them out in a spiral pattern, which changes a bit each summer. Now that the tree house is gone, my garden is probably my favorite place to be.

Itís finally gotten warm enough for me to swim. I love swimming; it makes me feel so graceful. I try to be the best swimmer I can; Iím sure Iíll need it when I leave. Generally I swim in the ocean, as the riverís too shallow. I do wade in the river, though, with Sunray.

He told me a story today about something his grandmother claimed to have seen when she was by the ocean one summer. It looked like a fish, but it had the face of a pony and a long mane. Nobody believed her except Sunray, and even heís not quite sure it was real. I suppose thatís one more thing to add to the list of things I plan to look for.

To Whom It May Concern:

A few days ago I visited Mellowís house, and we had lots of fun. She gave me an iris bulb to plant in my garden next summer, and I promised her some rosemary. I told her all about Willow and Sunray and my dreams of adventure. I said nothing of Spirit, though, since she could still be on the island and I donít want to get her into trouble. I also made no mention of my exploits involving my magic power; Iíve learned from experience that itís not a good subject. Ponies tend to think Iím being snobbish, or they get jealous. Imagine being jealous of me, when I can do no magic for myself at all!

I also found out that Mellow is great at making games. She showed me some of her favorites, like the one in which the goal is to make patterns in string, and the one where there is a hollow sphere so light that one can send it into a little bowl just by breathing at it. Mellow showed me how to make my own at home.

I also decided today to make a real list of all the things I plan to search for on my expedition. Here it is:

Unicorns & Pegasi

Fish/pony things

All of the lands in my stories

The place where the rainbow ends

Other explorers like me

Not a very long list, but Iíll work on it. The rainy season will be coming in a few days-- ugh.

To Whom It May Concern:

Skies above, I never thought I could have such a horrible cold and be so happy at the same time! All right, itís explanation time. First of all, I havenít written for a while-- sorry. Itís now about a third of the way into the rainy season, and a few days ago I got the most miserable cold ever.

Yesterday, Sunray and I were having our usual forest meeting when it began to rain heavily, as it often does during this season. Sunray and I sought refuge in the branches of a big oak tree, and for a few moments we just sat there in silence, listening to the rain and the sound of me sneezing. I donít know if it had to do with the atmosphere or if the cold had befuddled me, but I decided to tell him how I felt. I gathered all of my courage, which I like to think is a considerable amount, and spoke.

I had gotten as far as ďSunray, I...Ē when I sneezed. Not exactly an auspicious beginning! Nevertheless, I resolved to try again, and this time I managed to get through the sentence. He looked at me, surprised. I looked away under the guise of blowing my nose.

Then I heard him say, ďI love you too, Reverie.Ē

I shanít bore you, dear reader(s), with what we said next, but Iím sure you get the idea. Anyway, we stayed there until the rain stopped and then ambled down to the riverbank, where we munched on some of the excellent snacks he had brought along. We talked about inconsequential things, and I used many handkerchiefs, and at some points I wondered if the scene under the tree had been real. I was almost ready to dismiss it as a product of my wishful imagination when it was time for me to go home for dinner. However, we smiled at each other when we said goodbye, and I knew then that it had been real.

I was almost surprised when my parents didnít notice anything out of the ordinary-- I was sure that I would be radiating light and love. But they just acted as if it were a perfectly normal day. I debated telling them, but I decided against it-- after all, there wasnít much to tell, it wasnít as if Sunray and I had gotten married. Once again I wished for Willow and Spirit, their kindness and wisdom. Oh well, I count my blessings, and they are many-- especially now.

To Whom It May Concern:

Itís rained for three days straight since my last entry. Not just rain, either: heavy, steady rain. I canít stand it, although I try to be cheerful about it-- my motherís pessimistic attitude towards bad weather is more than enough for one family. And then, of course, there are the usual lines about it being good for the plants, which I agree with-- my garden is probably thriving. Still, I canít endure having to stay indoors day after day. I long for the forest and the ocean and, most of all, Sunray.

Finally I couldnít bear it any longer, and today I begged my parents to invite Sunray and his family over for lunch. Being good parents, they agreed, with only one catch-- guess who had to run through the pouring rain to Sunrayís house to ask them if they wanted to come? Oh well, anything for Sunray. However, I would have been most annoyed if his family hadnít accepted the invitation. (ďMost annoyed,Ē for me, is basically the same as ďdistinctly angryĒ for most other ponies.)

I was, of course, deliriously happy to see Sunray again; and, even better, my parents had actually cooked a meal instead of it being ďevery pony for themselfĒ the way it generally is. Not that I usually care, since I typically eat lunch in the woods. Today, though, it was nice to have something waiting on the table. I wonder what kind of parent I would be. Maybe Iíll have some children when Iím done exploring, if such a time ever comes. Of course, Iíd have to get married first, which opens up a whole new topic... perhaps... well, itís too early in my life to go into that.

Since it was so disgusting outside, Sunrayís family stayed until twilight. We lit a bunch of candles, and sang songs and played games-- all of the normal family-things that we donít often do. It was so... cozy and comforting, I almost didnít mind the rain. Of course, some of that was due to my happiness at seeing Sunray again. I was sad when his family left, but I also had a fulfilled feeling inside, sort of like when one has finished a good meal.

Now I am tired. I am going to sleep; maybe it will stop raining tomorrow.

To Whom It May Concern:

Well, it finally stopped pouring. There have still been showers off and on, but I can live with that. At least I can get outside, into the fresh air and peaceful sounds. When Iím trapped inside, I feel my mind getting foggy, or else I get into a bad mood and end up saying sarcastic things to my parents (only when provoked though) or falling asleep out of sheer boredom.

Anyway, the first thing I did the morning it stopped raining was to rush outside to my garden. One poor plant was quite battered by the heavy rain; I felt very sorry for it. The frailty of flowers often feels to me like a metaphor for how hard times can crush oneís spirit, like Spirit. But then there are plants like my fuzzy white one that survived the drought last summer.

Somehow, this wonderful plant managed to get through the drought, growing bigger and stronger than ever. I like to think of myself as being like this plant: a survivor, ready to struggle through whatever life may send and grow stronger for it. Of course, I havenít been tested that much yet; there have been difficult things in my life, but no tragedies (thank the stars).

After spending some time with my plants, I went down to the ocean and immersed myself in the lovely, ever-moving water, made warmer by the rain. My favorite thing about the ocean is how it moves, and changes, and pushes one to and fro, almost like a living presence. If I go in deep enough, I can glimpse some bright-colored fish, which always makes me feel cheerful.

Fish are so nice and graceful and serene. Once I saw a really big fish drift by, and it was just so friendly-looking that I wanted to hug it. When I told Aunt Unity about it, she laughed. Apparently not many ponies think of hugging fish, but I really donít see why itís such an alien concept. Fish are sweet and gentle and pleasant; they would probably make nice pets if ponies lived in the water. Perhaps the fish-pony-things have fish for pets. Hmm... I wonder what sort of land-- well, not land really, since it would be submarine-- the fish-pony-things would live in.

Looking back at this entry, it seems to be just one long ramble. I suppose it has bored you, reader(s). Itís just that after a long rain, the island always seems renewed and fresh and exciting, and it inspires enthusiasm in me. I expect this will be the way I feel when I go exploring, except I wonít have to wait through a long rain for it.

Well, I have to stop writing now-- thereís a forest to visit, and a Sunray to talk with.

To Whom It May Concern:

I have decided that it would be wise for me to start getting some boating lessons. Of course, I already know enough to sail around a bit-- practically everyone on the island does-- but I need to be an expert. Therefore, Iím going to ask the existing expert, Tide (heís very aptly named), to teach me everything he knows. I hope heíll agree; some ponies can be snobby when it comes to sharing their knowledge. Oh well; if he refuses to teach me, Iíll find someone else.

Motherís been worrying over me lately. She says sheís afraid that she didnít raise me well enough, that Iím more like a wild animal than a pony, and that I spend too much time in my little fantasies and not enough in the real world. I tried to explain to her that I spend my time in the forest, which is most definitely a part of the real world, but she says that ďin the real worldĒ means ďamong other ponies.Ē Sheís going to take me into the village in a few days, which I find a bit exciting. I havenít been to the village since I was nine summers old, and I remember it being very bustling and lively-- perhaps the ďreal worldĒ isnít all bad.

Mother also thinks that Iíve been spending too much time with Sunray, and that seeing too much of any one pony is sure to be a bad influence. I quickly and firmly assured her that Sunrayís influence on me is only good, and that if anything Iím a bad influence on him. She just smiled and said that she thought it would be nice for me to meet some other young ponies. It really annoys me-- just because she helped give me the gift of life, she thinks that she always knows whatís best in that life. Iím going out to the forest now to calm down.

To Whom It May Concern:

I went to the village with Mother this morning, and it was really exciting! Iíve rarely seen so many ponies in one place before, and Mother seemed to know everyone. They all greeted her, and she introduced me to them and they all smiled at me, somewhat condescendingly, and said how pretty I was growing up to be. It was annoying and flattering at the same time.

Most of the houses were a bit smaller than ours, and closer together. I wanted to take a closer look, but Mother kept finding more ponies to introduce. A few of them were near my age, but they didnít seem overly friendly-- indeed, they looked at me guardedly. I didnít blame them; I tend to be a bit-- not afraid, really, but cautious around other ponies my age. Except for... well, Iíll get to that.

Eventually, I saw something fascinating-- a flower garden on the roof of one of the biggest houses. I tried to ask Mother if we could go look at it, but she was too busy talking to some mare with a newborn foal. After a few tries, I gave up and set off for the mysterious garden by myself. There werenít any stairs leading straight to the roof, but there was a trellis that was quite easy to climb. As I made my way to the top, I scowled to think that there was a public garden here and my mother hadnít told me about it.

It was even more beautiful than it had looked from the path. There were flowers of every shape, size, and color, along with sweet-smelling herbs and a few small trees. After poking around a bit, I sat down on some soft moss and gathered several fallen blossoms. Then I saw another pony.

He had been easy to miss in the verdant garden, because he was a muted spruce in color and his mane and tail were pale green. Even his eyes were green. He seemed to be a few summers older than me, but I didnít feel as wary as I normally do-- something about the colt was reassuring. I assumed that he was another visitor to the garden.

ďHullo,Ē he said. There was something rather odd in the way he spoke. ďHow did you get up here?Ē

ďI climbed,Ē I replied calmly. ďHow did you get up here?Ē He looked amused.

ďI live here,Ē he stated. I realized then that I had made a mistake.

ďThis isnít a public garden then?Ē I knew the answer before he shook his head. ďIím very sorry. I didnít know that I was trespassing; I havenít been to the village in a long time. My name is Reverie.Ē Looking back on this dialogue, I realize that giving out my name after Iíd gotten in trouble wasnít the wisest thing to do, but the whole situation was so surreal that all common sense fled my mind.

ďIím Reef,Ē he smiled. ďDo you like the garden?Ē So I told him how much I loved the garden, and about my garden at home, and I asked him the name of a particularly beautiful potted plant that I had been gazing at. Reef told me that it was called a phlox, and I commented on how disappointing that was-- so many flowers have such pretty names, and this one, which seemed to be the loveliest of all, was called a phlox. He laughed, which irked me since I hadnít meant to be funny, but he more than made up for it by offering to let me take the phlox home.

ďIs it yours?Ē I asked. I remember wondering to myself: What if this whole garden is his? In this rooftop paradise, anything seemed possible. After all, who would have thought that the most beautiful garden in the world would be on a roof in the village?

ďWell, not really. It belongs to my mother, too,Ē he answered. ďBut sheíll never know itís gone. If you like it that much, you should have it.Ē I hugged the phlox, which made him laugh again. I was too happy to mind-- happy about getting the phlox, happy about finding this garden, and happy about meeting Reef. Then I heard my name being screamed.

I leaned over to see my mother, looking most displeased, on the path below. The only thing she said was ďCome down here right now,Ē but I could tell that I was in Big Trouble. I picked up the phlox and headed for the trellis, but Reef stopped me and directed me toward a staircase instead.

ďYour mother?Ē he asked as we descended the flight of stairs, which were made of polished wood. I nodded. ďIíll come with you for moral support,Ē he offered, and I was quite grateful. After a brief walk through his rather fancy house, we came to an aqua-colored mare who gazed at us curiously but said nothing as we passed.

My mother looked furious, but her glare lessened when she saw Reef. She driveled something about how sorry she was for my rudeness, and Reef driveled some reply about how he enjoyed having visitors, and how Motherís daughter (me?) was quite charming. Before I knew it, I was being marched homeward, Reef waving good-bye. I waved back, taking one last look at the roof garden.

My mother had mixed feelings about my little exploit. On one hoof, she was infuriated that I had done something so shocking as trespassing. It seems that Reefís mother, Lattice, and his late father, Jovial, are/were very respected, so it was especially bad that I trespassed on that particular roof. On the other hoof, sheís quite happy that I got acquainted with Reef, especially since Lattice has been heard to say, ďHeís such a good colt; he hardly gives me a momentís trouble!Ē I suppose Reef is the sort of ďgood influenceĒ young pony Mother wants me to spend time with.

Skies above, this was an exciting day. The village was stimulating, the rooftop garden was marvelous, and Reef is one of the most interesting ponies Iíve met since Spirit. The phlox (really, itís such a pity that one of the prettiest flowers Iíve seen doesnít have a nicer name) is in my garden; I watered it with extra care. I wonder if Mother will ever take me into the village again.

To Whom It May Concern:

Today I got out of the house extra early; I had a feeling that if I stayed I would be lectured about yesterdayís mishap. Iíve developed intuition about that sort of thing. Once in the forest, though, I felt bored. This almost never happens to me-- I get bored plenty of times, but never in the forest. I suppose itís just a letdown after yesterdayís excitement. Finally, I decided to swing for a while.

My swing isnít anything fancy, just an old rope with a loop in it, but itís fun. Today, however, it gave me a surprise that was not fun at all-- in other words, it broke. Itís a lucky thing that I wasnít on it at the time. Oh well, Iím sure I can find another rope, and Sunray can levitate it to a high branch. He doesnít like to levitate things, as it reminds me of Willow, but heíll do it if itís important to me.

Itís funny; he and I have such different ways of dealing with things that make us sad. Sunray tries to block it out or forget about it. I like remembering Willow, though, even if it does make me feel sad-- itís like Iím keeping a little bit of her alive. I personally think that my way is far superior, but Iím sure Sunray feels the same about his way.

Finally, Sunray came. I told him all about my visit to the village, and the garden, and Reef, and how angry my mother was. He laughed when I told him how Iíd climbed the trellis to get to the garden.

ďWhy is that so funny?Ē I asked.

ďItís just something that only you would do,Ē he replied. Iím still not sure whether or not that was a compliment. Anyway, heíd heard of the rooftop garden because his father used to be good friends with Jovial. Apparently the garden had been built on the roof so that rabbits and such wouldnít get at it, although why rabbits would try to eat flowers in the first place is beyond me. I hope no rabbits were watching as I climbed the trellis; it might have given them ideas.

After I told my tale, he helped me fix up a new swing. He grumbled a lot about using his levitation powers for ďsome silly old swingĒ but I know that he likes the swing nearly as much as I do. Besides, as I told him, Iím the one who gave him the power of levitation in the first place.

To Whom It May Concern:

The rainy season is almost over! Iím so glad; it seems to last longer each time. I donít mind rain in moderation, and I know how much the plants need it, but I sometimes wish that there werenít a whole season devoted to precipitation. If I could redesign the weather schedule, I think I would make it rain once every five days, regularly, so that ponies could have fun on all the other days. Iím sure, though, that something would go wrong-- as the saying goes, ďMother Nature knows best.Ē

I wonder what Mother Nature would be like if she were a pony... probably similar to Willow. Perhaps flowers would fall from her mane in the summer, and during the rainy season she would fling raindrops from her tail. That would be nice.

I really canít wait for summer, even if it means I have to help with the crops. Soon Iíll be fifteen-- skies above, the years go quickly. I plan to ask Mother if I can invite my friends to lunch for the occasion. It shouldnít be much trouble, since I donít have that many friends-- just Sunray, Mellow, and Reef. It would be fun to see all of my friends at once, and to be the center of attention for a reason other than my power.

Thereís another piece of good news as well: Bluebell (thatís my ferret for those of you whose memories arenít so sharp) is going to have baby ferrets! I wonder what the correct terminology for baby ferrets is... Iíll have to ask. Ferretlets, perhaps? That would be cute. I wonder how many there will be, and what theyíll be like. Itíll be fun to think of names for them-- Iíll probably stick with the botanical theme. Maybe Iíll name one Phlox... no, that wouldnít be fair, especially if the others were named things like Rose and Daffodil.

Yet another piece of good news is that, for the moment, my mother has dropped the topic of making me less wild animal-ish. I wonder if my trip to Reefís garden cured her of the notion. Sheís probably just concocting a new plan; she rarely lets go of her ďprojectsĒ once she decides that they need to be done.

To Whom It May Concern:

My birthday is coming in a few days. Mother agreed to let me have my friends come over, although she was somewhat hesitant about Reef-- she seemed to think that it would be presumptuous to invite him when Iíve only met him once. I argued strongly, though, and managed to win. It seems that everyone can come, and Mother is getting rather excited about it. She actually tries to spend some time with me talking about it each day. Iím not sure whether or not this is a good thing; yesterday I almost missed my daily appointment with Sunray because Mother was trying to decide what food to serve. Sunray offered to supply food, but Mother said that it wouldnít be proper since heís one of the guests, and for once I agreed.

Father is trying to have an extra-good crop of tomatoes this year-- he says theyíre one of the most useful vegetables (I told him that they were really fruit, but did he listen?)-- so he wants me to water them especially well, which to him means checking each tomatoís welfare three times. Next Iíll be requested to sing to the peppers.

I found out what baby ferrets are called-- kits. A male is a hob, a female is a jill, and a group is a business. Fortune knows all about ferrets; heís the pony who gave me my first three. His house belongs more to his ferrets than to Fortune himself. Itís too bad I wonít be able to bring my ferrets with me when I go exploring; Iíll miss their warm furriness. I think Iíll bequeath them to Sunray.

It makes me sad, sometimes, thinking of all Iíll leave behind when I set off for my adventure, but thatís the way life is: for every dream, there is a sacrifice. One simply has to weigh the dream and the sacrifice on an imaginary scale, and decide which is greater. Without question, exploring the great unknown is worth any cost.

To Whom It May Concern:

Sorry I havenít written in a while; the crops have kept everyone busy. Those rotten (figuratively speaking) tomatoes are the worst; I wish I had some siblings so they could help. Of course, more ponies in the family would mean more mouths to feed, and that would mean more tomatoes, so perhaps it wouldnít be worth it.

My birthday has come and gone; it was a lot of fun. Mellowís parents let her take a break from watching her little cousins to come over; Reef didnít think it was at all presumptuous for me to invite him; and Sunray secretly brought a few snacks. The three had not previously met each other, so I was a bit worried about whether they would all get along, but everything went smoothly. We ate outside, against my motherís wishes, and each friend brought a present for me-- I must confess that was my favorite part.

From Sunray, there was an adorable little sculpture of a ferret holding a flower-- he commissioned his younger brother, who is good with clay, to mold it. Mellowís gift was a wide ribbon of lavender silk, embroidered with tiny flowers. She had done the embroidery herself; sheís really talented. Reef had selected a small assortment of flowers for planting in my garden, and they all had beautiful names: Verbena, Celosia, Delphinium, Hyacinth, and Acacia.

The day after my birthday, I woke up feeling bored out of my wits, similar to the day after I visited the village. There are certainly advantages to having an unexciting life-- just imagine, if something exciting happened every two days, I would be bored every other day. That would mean wasting half my life with boredom, which would be awful. Of course, some ponies would argue that the exciting half would make everything worth it, but I donít really agree with that. Life needs to have some happy mediums, not just wonderful times and horribly dull times. Technically, even a life where every day was exciting would have its downside; one would probably get bored of excitement! I used to spend time envisioning a perfect world, but now that I am somewhat wiser I know that even the most wonderful existence is marred by its very wonderfulness.

To Whom It May Concern:

Today I went to water my garden, and discovered that my precious phlox, my favorite plant, had been destroyed. It looked to be the work of a rabbit or other small animal, perhaps even one of my ferrets. I love little furry animals dearly, but I wish they could have spared that particular plant. Itís really quite ironic, considering the news I heard yesterday.

My mother heard it from one of the village gossips: Reef is gone. Not gone as in dead, but gone as in vanished. He and his pet lemur, Ice Cloud (I wonder what he was thinking when he named it that), supposedly disappeared without a trace. He couldnít have run away, it is said, because his mother came into his room to see if he was awake, left the room, and returned twenty counts later to find that he was gone. Apparently, itís the talk of the village, as nobody can think of a way for him to have disappeared-- he isnít a unicorn so he couldnít wink away, and he isnít a pegasus so he couldnít have flown through the window.

My father doesnít believe it, but Mother says that Aura, though a gossip, is a truthful one with an excellent memory. I believe the story; Reef once told me a secret that gives me an idea as to where he went and how he did so. Unfortunately, I donít feel safe writing it down in this journal; one never knows who may find it.

Ever since this morning, Iíve drifted around aimlessly. No matter what I tried to do, it didnít feel right. Finally, Father put me to work on those awful tomatoes (I must say, theyíre doing extremely well and I would think they were beautiful if I didnít have to water them.) Today, however, I couldnít seem to focus on the shining red orbs. Even thoughts of exploring bring no comfort.

I know this must seem selfish, but I canít help feeling that life hasnít been fair to me. I know that Spirit and Reef didnít disappear to make me unhappy, but itís not exactly normal for a pony to have two of her friends disappear within two summers. I shall wish on every star I see tonight that nothing happens to Mellow and Sunray.

To Whom It May Concern:

Well, this makes Journal Loss Number Three. Skies above, you readers must think Iím the most irresponsible pony to ever walk the island, but I actually have a semi-reasonable explanation this time. Aunt Unity and Uncle Valor had a foal (her name is Skylight, isnít that pretty? It conjures an image of a beautiful luminous sky, at least to me). Mother and Father decided that this foal was the perfect opportunity to get rid of some stuff from when I was a foal.

Unsurprisingly, considering the luck I generally have, my journal was packed into a box with my old booties. It was only today that I discovered its whereabouts and was able to rescue it from the dreadful fate of being one of Skylightís playthings (and Iím not joking about it being a dreadful fate-- I would hate to be one of that fillyís toys. Ah well, I suppose we were all foals once, although I would like to forget that fact).

Now for the usual Update in the Life of Reverie (Iím really getting dťjŗ vu): I have seen seventeen summers, Iím still friends with Sunray and Mellow, Reef and Spirit havenít reappeared, Father decided to make tomatoes one of his major crops, and he has decided that I should be in charge of them since I did such a good job when I was fifteen. Itís amazing how many thousands of boring hours I managed to pack into that sentence.

I donít think Iíve changed much, but the world around me seems to grow more boring by the day. There are times when my only solace is the fact that I will soon be eighteen, and I can finally leave this island. ďNo more feeling trapped, no more boredom, no more requests for magic powers, no more tomatoes!Ē I tell myself over and over. On long, hot days, it is the rhythm to which I work, eat and breathe.

To Whom It May Concern:

Something unbelievable happened this morning, something that will change the course of my life. Itís funny: when one wakes up on one of these life-changing mornings, it feels just the same as any other morning. In fact, everything today felt exactly the same as any other day until the life-changing event actually happened.

I met Sunray in the forest a bit earlier than usual at his request. He was rather late and looked like something was troubling him. We talked for a while, mainly about those awful tomatoes (theyíre excellent conversation fodder) and then he took a deep breath and began to speak. Or rather, he began to try to speak. He moved his mouth, trying to form words, but no sound came out. I looked at him, perplexed, and asked if anything was wrong. He shook his head, pulled out a ring and offered it to me.

Now, to the casual observer, this would look like a marriage proposal (albeit a clumsy one). However, this seemed very unlikely to me. Reverie explores. Reverie swims. Reverie gardens. Reverie does not receive marriage proposals, even clumsy ones. I looked at Sunray blankly, while he continued to hold the ring out. The nervous expression on his face, the ring, it all seemed very proposal-like, but I was not going to embarrass myself by making assumptions.

ďIs this what I think it is?Ē I asked cautiously.

ďWhat do you think it is?Ē he replied, finding his voice at last.

ďYou tell me what it really is first,Ē I countered, refusing to make a fool of myself. He tried to tell me (well, really, he could have been trying to say anything-- all I know is that he tried to say something and failed). There was a rather pleading look in his eyes, which, coupled with my curiosity, made me break down and ask him.

ďIs this a marriage proposal?Ē

He nodded. I took a deep breath. ďI accept,Ē I stated waveringly. And the rest, as they say, is history.

At first I was a bit confused; exploring and marrying Sunray didnít seem to be quite compatible. But surely thereís nothing wrong with trading one dream for another. I think that Iíll be just as happy sharing my life with Sunray as I would be if I were exploring. Besides, I was getting rather frightened of leaving everyone.

We are going to be married next summer since ancient law states that no pony under the age of eighteen may marry. I told my parents about it, of course, and they seemed quite pleased. Mother even shed a few tears and immediately started deciding whom to invite to the wedding celebration. I do hope that Fatherís wedding gift to Sunray and me isnít a bunch of tomato seedlings.

To Whom It May Concern:

Only twenty-five days left until the wedding. My life has been a whirlwind of activity ever since that fateful morning. Much to my dismay, my parents have insisted on giving a huge party, inviting more than half the ponies on the island. I tried to talk them out of it-- Iím not quite comfortable having my wedding among bunches of ponies Iíve never met-- but does what I want matter? Of course not; Iím only the bride; this has nothing whatsoever to do with me. Itís most certainly not a milestone in my life, oh no, itís a special time for my parents to enjoy.

Sorry, I got a bit carried away there. Anyway, Sunray and I are still excited and happy. We spend almost every day together since my parents want to get his ďapprovalĒ on the wedding preparations. In other words, they want him to be prepared for whatever they plan. I asked him once if he had any objection to my parents ďrunning the show,Ē hoping to get some support, but he just shrugged and said that parties didnít really matter to him as long as we could be together. I suppose thatís a more high-minded view than mine, but I canít help being a bit annoyed.

Another part of me is a bit nervous. After all, no one can say Iím not an adult once Iím married, and sometimes Iím not quite sure whether or not Iím ready for adulthood. I mean, this is all rather sudden; Iíve always imagined myself sailing away, which doesnít really require much responsibility, not getting married and starting a home (which, of course, includes crops). Itís rather a big adjustment to make. I must confess, I sometimes find myself dreaming of exploring out of pure habit, and I have to remind myself that that is no longer my destiny.

Mellow is almost as excited as my mother, but I like Mellowís excitement better since she doesnít try to rule my life. Sheís gotten permission to stay with our family until the wedding, and she generally tries to make sure that I know whatís going on. I was rather surprised at how little interest Sunrayís parents showed in the wedding; they seemed perfectly happy to let my parents organize everything. Theyíll be witnesses, of course, but other than that one would think that they were Sunrayís distant relatives.

Itís funny; his parents show lots of interest in him with ordinary things but not on special occasions, and my parents are the reverse. I wonder... if Sunray and I have foals (scary thought!) will we be like a mixture of our parents? Will we show interest in our foals all of the time, or never? Well, Iím generally not in the least like my parents, so I probably neednít worry. Yet I have been worrying, about almost everything. Mellow says thatís perfectly normal. Thatís a laugh-- itís the first time Iíve ever been perfectly normal.

To Whom It May Concern:

Ten days left. Ten days of what, I sometimes wonder? Of foalhood, perhaps. Of dependence on my parents. Of life as I know it. Iím so frightened, and thrilled, and nervous, and expectant, and maybe even a little wistful-- after all, there are advantages to running wild in the forest all day. Ten days more, and nothing will ever be the same.

Iíve taken to hiding in the attic, where I can puzzle over my feelings in peace. If I go among my family, theyíll be sure to ask me to help with preparations. Iím not trying to shirk my responsibility, but I know that they donít really need me anyway. Therefore, I might as well stay here and ponder life. Skies above, thinking about the wedding makes me get goose bumps. I wonder if Sunray feels the same way I do.

I havenít seen Sunray in a few days-- almost tried to avoid him. Itís not that I love him any less, of course, but I feel the need to spend some time alone. Every time I see a room or a plant or a pony or a piece of furniture, Iíve been mentally saying good-bye to it. This, I know, sounds foolish since Iím not really going anywhere, but in another way it makes sense. These ten days are my last chance to see these things as Reverie the filly. After the wedding, she will be gone forever, and Reverie the mare will take her place. Good-bye, Reverie the filly.

To Whom It May Concern:

Five days left. The violent, ever-changing feelings have left me; instead I feel numbness. My life feels like itís happening to some stranger in a story, and Iím the omniscient narrator. ďReverie feels strange as she prepares for her upcoming marriage. She tries to...Ē

Oh, I canít think of what comes next in the story. I canít write, I can barely think, and Iím sure the words I say make no sense whatsoever. Not that anyone notices; weíre all too busy getting these ridiculous decorations set up. Honestly, I really donít see why my mother chose those floral-wreaths-velvet-ribbons-with-lace-curtains-hanging-from-them-things-- theyíre pretty, but they take so much time and energy and extra ponies to set up, which means I can no longer hide in the attic. Oh well, I donít really feel the need to hide anymore. At least Fatherís mind isnít on the tomatoes.

Sunray came to see me this morning; he was worried since he hadnít seen me in the woods lately. Despite my general numbness, I felt happy that he came. It was so strange to see him standing at the door-- normally thereís no need for us to make visits to each otherís homes. I suppose there wonít be any more meetings in the forest after the wedding. I wonder if weíll ever be able spend hours there, just the two of us, like we used to. Maybe weíll be too busy.

Sunray seems awfully cheerful and excited, not worried at all. He was able to give details on the house his familyís been building for us (it turned out that I was wrong about them not paying attention; my parents are handling the party and his are handling the house). Iím going to go see it with him tomorrow. Being with him makes me feel a bit better; his happiness is infectious. However, once I part from him my numbness returns.

Their shining hopes, my hidden fears

A sunny smile and moonlit tears

The past is gone; the future nears

I try to speak, but no one hears.

I had a sudden urge to write poetry, which I rarely do (the world should be thankful for that). My most sincere apologies. That was an odd poem; it doesnít quite seem to fit me. It was so short, but it flowed from my (troubled) mind in a way that my poetry rarely does. I canít write anymore; my mind has run out of thoughts.

To Whom It May Concern:

Tomorrow is the wedding. The decorations are finally set up; one of them kept falling down and we had to practically glue it to the rafter. I went with Sunray to see the house, which is finished and lovely. Itís by the sea and made of white stucco, and thereís a perfect place outside to plant a garden. Itís bigger than I thought it would be; maybe the builders are hoping for some extra magic powers. There are still types like that around.

The food for the party has been made; Aunt Unity, Uncle Valor, and Father slaved for days over it. I wonder what theyíll do with all the leftovers; perhaps theyíll be a gift to Sunray and me. Iím sure we could live on them for a whole year, and then we wonít need pesky crops.

My accessories, lovingly made by Mother, are all completed. She even offered to let me borrow her sapphire necklace, but I preferred to wear the little necklace that Sunray gave me for my birthday (was it really only four summers ago?). Mellow is going to braid silk ribbons into my mane tomorrow morning; she has them all lined up on my dresser. Lilac, periwinkle, and indigo, with tiny blue beads on the ends of them, theyíre the most beautiful ribbons Iíve ever seen. Mellowís father is a weaver, so she has access to those sorts of things.

The wedding hill is all prepared. My parents went over yesterday to make sure that nothing was out of place. I remember a few summers ago when I volunteered to plant some flowers around the wedding circle; never did I dream that I would see that circle from the inside.

The witnesses are all organized. They are to be: my mother, my father, Aunt Unity, Uncle Valor, Sunrayís mother, Sunrayís father, Sunrayís sister, Mellow (she turned eighteen during the rainy season), Ruby, and Birch. I wish fervently that Willow, Spirit, and Reef could be among them. It would have been so nice to have them all at my wedding... well, Iím sure Willow will be watching from wherever she is.

Even the ferrets have fancy new collars for the occasion; I insisted that they attend the wedding. They now number six, as Bluebell and Poppy passed away last rainy season. Fortune, who will be at the wedding, has volunteered to make sure they get into no mischief. They will live with Sunray and me after we are married-- I couldnít bear to leave them behind, and they really are my ferrets, not my parentsí.

In short, everything is ready-- except for me. I have never felt less ready in my life. Mellow says that means Iím quite ready. I wonder how she knows so much. But what if Iím not ready? What if I get so scared at the last minute that I back out? Would Sunray ever be able to forgive me?

I talked to him a little bit yesterday. I tried to tell him of my immense fears, and he was rather comforting. Apparently, heís incredibly nervous too. He says, though, that his love and happiness are greater than his fears, so he believes that all will be well. I envy him his confidence. I must try to have faith in myself; surely getting married isnít as nerve-wracking as I think it is. I can do this.

To Whom It May Concern:

I did it. I did it! Sunray and I were married two days ago, and are now living in our sweet new house. Oh, I canít believe it really happened; everything seems like a dream and the only real things are Sunray, the ferrets, this home, and myself. Iíve been quite relieved and happy; I really donít understand why I got so upset yesterday... but Iím getting ahead of myself.

The wedding itself went flawlessly, except for when Skylight tripped over a stone and started bawling her lungs out. I felt even stranger than before. Everything around me was a dreamy haze, and just walking felt like making my way through deep mud. All of the sounds I heard seemed muted and distant, and my eyes couldnít focus on anything.

I was starting to wonder if I was going mad, but then I saw Sunray, clear as a patch of sky when all else is covered by misty clouds. I was able to wend my way to him (the fact that the crowd of ponies parted for me made it considerably easier) and, together, we ascended the hill. I looked around at the faces of the witnesses (I could see much more clearly at that point). Both of my parents, whom I could barely recognize, were crying happily.

Then came the traditional questions and answers. I could just make out the questions, and was relieved to hear that my answer sounded calm and natural. For a moment, I worried that Sunray would have another case of speechlessness, but he managed to stutter out his response. Next, we exchanged flowers and the crowd began to cheer.

Sunray looked dazed and, from my reflection in his eyes, I could tell that I did too. He smiled at me, and we both began to laugh. I wasnít quite sure where to go next, but my family descended upon us and escorted us home-- my former home, that is; I keep forgetting that my parentsí house isnít my home anymore-- for the party.

The evening was a blur of strange ponies coming and congratulating me. Iíve never had so much attention in my life. Many brought gifts, which pleased me immensely, and they commented on how much Iíd grown up. It brought back memories of the day I met Reef in the village. All around me, ponies were dancing and laughing and talking and eating and taking tours of the house. They looked like they were having fun, and I rather wanted to join them, but Mother quietly told me that I had to be a gracious hostess.

Finally, all of the ponies left, leaving presents, good wishes, and a huge mess. When I saw the latter, I thought gleefully ďI donít have to help clean it up!Ē I found Sunray, who had been submitted to an ordeal similar to mine, and said goodnight to my parents. Then, without looking back, my new husband and I meandered through the twilight to our new home.

Thatís where weíve been ever since; we havenít even had time to leave the house yet. We spent the entire afternoon yesterday unwrapping the wedding presents, sitting in the middle of the floor and strewing wrapping all over the place. Some of the gifts are quite nice, like a mirror surrounded by blue crystals and a beautiful sign painted with the words ďReverie and Sunray Welcome You to their Home.Ē Others are rather boring but useful (the set of plates, for example) and there are a few odd things that we canít identify. Iíll have to ask my mother what they are.

Anyway, we finally finished unwrapping all of the presents, and we sorted them into piles. Then Sunray went into the pretty kitchen (I really love this house) to fix us some snacks. Somebody thoughtfully supplied some food in the cupboards, which is lucky because Sunray and I hadnít brought any. I sat on one of the cushions someone sent over (really, I donít think weíll need to make any furniture at all) and stroked Fern.

I looked out the little diamond-paned window, and all of a sudden an unbearable sadness came over me. I felt as if someone had died-- no, worse, as if the whole world had died. Thus, I did the only logical thing under the circumstances: I buried my head in Fernís fur and cried.

Once I started crying, I couldnít seem to stop. It didnít make me feel relieved, either, like crying usually does. It only made the sadness worse. I generally try not to cry noisily, but this time I couldnít help but produce hiccupping sobs, like a foal.

Then Sunray came in from the kitchen and asked what was wrong, and I managed to calm down enough to answer. He showed me the food heíd prepared and I ate some, which also made me feel better. By the time I finished eating I was back to normal, but Sunray seemed worried. I think he fears that I no longer want to be married to him. Iíve been trying to act extra happy since then, hoping to dispel his worries. Not that I need to pretend to be happy; Iíve been quite content with the world.

To Whom It May Concern:

Once again, I fear, thereís been a pause in my entries. Now that Iím an adult, and married, and one of the caretakers of a home, I have less time for relaxation. That hasnít made me unhappy, though; Iíve spent a wonderful two summers with Sunray. The two of us seem to be doing very well in life.

The house is completely decorated and furnished, and we have some lovely crops. I put in a flower garden, too, similar to my old one. At some points, I considered transplanting some of my flowers from my parentsí house (Iíve finally stopped referring to it as ďhomeĒ), but I decided against it. I want to leave something of myself there, though it sounds silly, for my old residence to remember me by.

Iíve really been adjusting to my new life wonderfully; Iíve learned how to help manage the house, and keep the crops organized, and generally self-sufficient-- well, not entirely self-sufficient, as Sunray and I work together and help each other, but you know what I mean. Thatís another thing Iíve learned, too: how to work as a team with Sunray.

Anyway, I generally feel as if Iíd never envisioned myself in a future other than this one. I still daydream about exploring once in a while, of course, but itís difficult to break the habit of seventeen summers. Iím sure that even the happiest ponies imagine themselves in different lives sometimes.

I visit with my parents quite often; they are always happy to see Sunray and me. Itís funny: I think I like them better now that I no longer live with them. Aunt Unity, Uncle Valor and Skylight are frequent guests as well. The two adults are both excellent farmers, and they give us many useful suggestions.

Little Skylight is truly adorable, as well as being very intelligent. She makes up little stories about being a star in the sky (her parents told her that foals originally came to the island as shooting stars). They remind me a lot of my own adventure stories. That gave me a profound thought about life going in circles, which I meant to write down but forgot. Ah well, thatís the way life goes.

To Whom It May Concern:

Several interesting things have happened since I last wrote (which was, by the way, quite a while ago). The first is that Sunray and I are building a porch at the back of the house. It will overlook the ocean, and weíll eat there when the weather is nice. We started work on it a few days ago, and it looks like itís going to take a while.

Many ponies (especially Sunrayís relatives) volunteered to help us with the construction, but we declined politely. The entire house was built for us; we didnít hammer in a single nail, and we want to do something to make it truly a part of us. We have, however, allowed Sunrayís brother Echo to come over each day and help with the crops.

The next exciting piece of news is that Mellow is engaged to Verve, who lives in the village. They met at the party after Sunray and I got married, which makes me feel very peculiar. Just think, if I hadnít given in to my motherís resolve to have a big party, Mellow wouldnít be engaged. Thinking of what-ifs tends to make me most unsettled.

The worst one, I think, is ďWhat if my parents had never met?Ē Would I be someone completely different, or just me-with-some-different-qualities? Or, if my parents had each gotten married to another pony, which one would be me-- my motherís foal or my fatherís foal? Would they both be me? That would be so incredibly strange, to be divided into two ponies. It would have some good points though: one of me could stay here on the island, like I am now, and the other could go off and explore.

Thereís been a rather sudden increase in requests for magic powers lately. I think itís because many of the ponies who got extra powers from me now have foals of their own, and tell their progeny stories of the good old days when Reverie was generous with her magic. For whatever reason, many young ponies have begun making pilgrimages to our home, asking to be able to fly or see the future or become invisible or have their parents believe every word they say (I must admit some of them are quite creative).

Very few of the young travelers get their wishes granted, but most of them have the grace to be polite about it. Sunray gives them some lunch, which cheers their downcast faces somewhat, and they play with the ferrets. Many of them come back to visit on other days. Itís nice to think that Sunray and I have some young friends because they like us, not because I give them powers.

To Whom It May Concern:

Iíve just found out some incredibly thrilling news: I am going to have a foal. I found out yesterday, and Iíve been in shock ever since. Skies above, a foal of my very own! Well, itíll belong to Sunray, too, of course. The look on his face when I told him the information was absolutely priceless. I havenít told Mother and Father yet; Iím rather dreading their enthusiasm. I hope they wonít try to take over my life again.

My first preparation was, of course, to think of a name for my offspring. After a great deal of consideration, I decided on Wish for a filly and Odyssey for a colt. I think those would be perfect names, distinctive but not too elaborate. I notified Sunray of my choices, and his reaction was surprising. He absolutely refused to let his son be called Odyssey. I asked him why, and his only reply was ďI couldnít bear it.Ē

I mused over this for a while, and came to the conclusion that Sunray took the name Odyssey as a sign that I still want to go away and explore. Heís so unreasonably sensitive about that; surely he can see how happy I am. I may get a bit restless sometimes, but that happens to everyone. Iím sure I wonít have a moment to be bored once the foal comes!

Obviously, I had to choose another male name. It was quite difficult. Normally I come across scores of lovely-sounding names, but when it comes to selecting one that Iíll actually use, nothing seems right. Odyssey had sounded so ideal! However, since Sunray has so graciously let me choose the names, I feel like the least I can do is select names that he doesnít object to. Finally, I came up with: Sandstone. I think itíll do.

To Whom It May Concern:

My days have become busier than ever. Thereís so much to be done in preparation for the new arrival, whoís been getting quite large lately. I wonder so much about it. What will it look like? Will it be a colt or a filly? How much like Sunray and me will it be? Most importantly, who will it be? I canít wait to find out!

Itís funny; sometimes I feel as if most of my life has been spent waiting for one thing or another. When I was a foal I waited to grow up so I could explore; then I waited for the wedding; and now Iím waiting for the foal. I suppose when I grow old Iíll be waiting for death (thatís a morbid thought). Anyway, the majority of life has not been the ďmilestones,Ē itís been the waits between them. I wonder if that means that one ought to concentrate less on the future and more on the present. There are times, though, when the future is just about all one has to live for.

Thereís been a lot to do during this wait though. Sunray and I have set up a room for Wish or Sandstone. We agreed not to do too much decorating, since the foal will surely have his or her own ideas about how its living space should look. All we really did was paint the room in gentle purples and greens, put up some curtains, and add some simple wooden furniture. Itís a clean, fresh space, a good place to begin oneís life.

My twenty-second birthday is coming soon. I can hardly believe it; the space between birthdays used to seem an eternity to me. If I were to mention it to Mellow, she would say itís a part of being a grown-up. She always has an answer for everything. The birthdays matter less and less each summer, although Sunray faithfully gives presents each time.

Perhaps someday Iíll forget my birthday entirely, and I will no longer know how old I am. That would be frightening, to be lost in limbo, not knowing how much time youíve used up and how much you have left. No, no matter how old I grow, I shall never forget my birthday.

To Whom It May Concern:

Well, thereís been another surprising piece of news about the foal-- or should I say foals. Thatís right; Iím going to have twins! I was talking to Portent today in the village, and she listened to my stomach. To my astonishment, she said that she could hear two distinct heartbeats. I could hardly believe it, but sheís never wrong about this sort of thing (she is, after all, a healer).

I told Sunray as soon as I got home, and he was even more shocked than when I found out that I was expecting, if such is possible. Then he told me that Iíd better think of two more names in case the twins are both of the same gender. I have a sort of premonition that they wonít be, but itís always best to be prepared.

Ergo, if theyíre both fillies, they will be Wish and Silhouette. Two colts will be named Sandstone and Cenotaph (I didnít even try for Odyssey this time). Sunray approved of my selections-- thank the stars. I spent from noon until twilight thinking of those names.

We havenít told anyone the news yet; we want it to be a surprise. I know my parents will be absolutely thrilled. Itís funny; no matter how hard I try, I canít imagine them as grandparents. Then again, I have trouble imagining Sunray and myself as parents.

I hope I wonít make a complete mess of raising the foals. I think I know how to teach right from wrong, and calm their fears, and get them to eat foods they donít like, but I canít be sure. I think Iíll start watching how Aunt Unity and Uncle Valor deal with Skylight; maybe it will give me ideas.

To Whom It May Concern:

Three days ago, I gave birth to the foals. I was right; theyíre Wish and Sandstone. Theyíre also the most utterly beautiful little creatures Iíve ever set eyes on. Every time I look at them, my little miracles, I feel-- well, I canít even describe how I feel. Right now, theyíre sleeping peacefully in a cradle at the foot of my bed. I can hardly believe theyíre real.

Sunray and I were able to keep the fact that they were twins secret right until they were born. The four new grandparents wanted to move in with us, but obviously we refused. I did agree, however, to Mellow staying for a while. Sheís marvelously comforting with her knowledge of foals, and assures us that everything they do is perfectly normal.

Aunt Unity says that the twins are much less troublesome than Skylight ever was (Skylight wasnít thrilled to hear that) and I think sheís right. Wish and Sandstone are very good-tempered, and when they cry itís always for a reason. Theyíre also practically inseparable, and canít get to sleep unless they share a cradle.

Mother asked me if I plan to give the twins any extra powers. I said no, or at least not until theyíre much older. I wouldnít want to seem as if I were playing favorites. Besides, magic powers are sometimes more of a curse than a blessing. Sunray agreed with me, and Mother said that she supposes Iím right.

Iím exhausted now. I doubt Iíll be able to write much for a while. I wonder if, some day, Iíll show this journal to Wish and Sandstone?

To Whom It May Concern:

Well, I was right about that. Wish and Sandstone are more than a summer old now, and I havenít had any time whatsoever to write. Twins, Iíve discovered, mean double everything, and that includes a double helping of work and responsibility. Really, Sunrayís better with them than I am. He can almost always get them to fall asleep, or mix up something for them to eat when they refuse everything else.

Itís funny; even with all of the work of raising twins, I still feel restless. Especially at sunrise (Wish is an early riser), a nameless longing often comes over me. Iím sure if I talked to Mellow about it, sheíd have some reasonable explanation for it, but I donít want to tell her. I donít want to tell anyone. Sunray, particularly, would get upset.

Then there are the dreams. Ever since about twenty days ago, Iíve had them. Each night, without fail, I dream of one thing: discovering new islands. Sometimes the dreams are beautiful, and other times they terrify me so much that I wake up. No two dreams are the same, although they always begin the same way:

It is sunrise. Everyone else, even Wish, is asleep. Oh-so-quietly, I creep through the house, stopping to pack a bag of food, and to leave a folded piece of paper on the table. Then I open the door and slip through, heading towards the back of the house and the ocean. There are tears running down my face.

There is a little boat bobbing up and down near the shore. I walk through the waves until I reach the vessel, and then I climb into it. I pull up the anchor and the boat drifts forward, toward the horizon, away from the island. I donít look back.

I donít know why I keep having these dreams; theyíre perfectly meaningless. If I ignore them for long enough, Iím sure theyíll stop.

To Whom It May Concern:

Wish and Sandstone are almost four summers old now. They remind me of Sunray and myself in so many ways, but they still have many characteristics that are uniquely their own. Weíve found Wishís magic powers: she can grow or shrink to any size she wants, and she can see through walls. Sandstone hasnít shown any signs of magic yet; Wish claims that sheíll find out what his power is.

Iím one of the luckiest ponies on the island. I have a wonderful family, a beautiful home, and everything else I could want. Yet I am unsatisfied.

The dreams still come each night, and I no longer try to resist them. I know now what they mean, unwelcome as the knowledge is. I made the wrong choice when I married Sunray; I still want to explore. This awareness burns within me every day; it makes me restive and guilty. Too bad, I tell myself. It was my wrong choice, and I have to live with it.

I donít think Sunray suspects, and the twins are certainly too young to understand. Oh, my family. They are all that keeps me on this island, yet they are also my greatest joy. Wish, I can tell, is very intelligent; she may well discover her brotherís magic. And Sandstone is so sweet and helpful, and always loyal to his sister.

Today, I was telling them one of the ďexploringĒ stories that I made up as a foal. They both listened, enthralled. It seems that I still retain my gift for storytelling. As I looked at their serious little faces, my gaze traveled to the doorway where Sunray was standing. His eyes were filled with pain. I must remember not to tell those stories when he is listening. He mustnít know.

To Whom It May Concern:

It is the hottest part of summer now. Sunray and I take the twins to play in the ocean almost every day. Sometimes I give them short rides in my little boat. They both have inherited my talent at swimming, and it makes me laugh to see them paddling about. Sometimes we pretend that they are fish; Sunray and I chase them until we sweep them up in our imaginary nets.

I try harder than ever to be happy, but it just isnít working. I find myself longing for night, when I can escape in those blessed dreams. Worse yet, the dreams have begun to invade my mind during the day. I start walking through a snow-covered isle, home to big, shaggy ponies, when I feel Sandstoneís hoof on mine: ďWhatís wrong, Mama?Ē

I donít know how much longer I can go on like this. I used to believe that if I denied the urge long enough, it would die, leaving me in peace. It hasnít worked yet though. Will I lie on my deathbed longing to sail away? I canít live like that! If only there were two of me, like I used to imagine, one for the island and one for the great unknown. Why was I so very foolish nine summers ago?

On a happier note, Mellow and Verve were married recently. Theyíve moved to the village, near Reefís old house. Lattice passed away a while ago, and the place is deserted. I think Mere and Cadence are planning to move in. I wonder if theyíll replant the garden. I remember that garden so vividly for some reason.

It is dusk now. To me, dusk always seemed a peaceful time, gentle and benevolent. Like everything else, my concept of it has changed. Now dusk is wild and mysterious, a time when strange calls echo across the sea. Night is coming, night and forbidden dreams.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am leaving the island, sailing away. Much as it tears my heart apart to do so, it is my only choice-- I can no longer deny my destiny. Iíve written a note to the family, explaining. I wonder if theyíll ever forgive me, and if Iíll ever see them again. It makes no difference; what must be will be no matter what. Iíve learned that through my years, if nothing else.

Oh, Sunray, Wish, Sandstone, how I hope you are reading this journal! I will try to come back to you someday, I promise. And, in return, please try not to forget me. Iím so sorry for all Iíve done.

It is sunrise. Everyone else, even Wish, is asleep. Oh-so-quietly, I am going to creep through the house, stopping to pack a bag of food, and to leave a folded piece of paper on the table. Then I shall open the door and slip through, heading towards the back of the house and the ocean. There are tears running down my face.

My little boat will be bobbing up and down near the shore. I will walk through the waves until I reach the vessel, and then Iíll climb into it. Iíll pull up the anchor and the boat will drift forward, toward the horizon, away from the island. I wonít look back.

* * *

Sandstone put the tearstained book down. Images flashed through his mind: Willow, Spirit, Sunray, Mellow, Reef, and most of all Reverie, the mother he had never truly known. So many waves of emotion were washing over him that all he could do was wait for the tide to ebb. As he took a deep breath, he heard the sound of hooves climbing the stairs.

ďSandstone, whatís taking you so long? Did you find the papers?Ē Wishís eyes lighted upon the journal. ďI think youíd better put that back in the box,Ē she commanded quietly. Sandstone looked up, his blue eyes meeting her green ones.

ďNo,Ē Sandstone replied. ďIím keeping it. Maybe someday youíll be able to read it, too.Ē

ďI said put it back...Ē Wish narrowed her eyes and then sighed. ďWhatever. Come on; letís find those papers.Ē

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