The Feast of Departure

Fragments of Writing

It was the Day of Leaving and we were celebrating with the Feast of Departure.

Everything we were taking with us had been packed or loaded into the wagons and carts, but there was even more that we would be leaving behind. We had therefore prepared as much of the food as we could and all of us feasted on the stored provisions of many seasons. The children, many of them already in their travel clothes, laughed and ran and played around the tables while we adults ate our fill and reminisced over the seasons we had spent here. Some, newly come to adulthood since our last travels, were nervous about what we would face as we left our home and made our way across unknown lands and those of us who had made the journeys many times before reassured them that our group was strong and would encounter no dangers in the world beyond.

Our leader had looked to the sky and the wind and decided the path we would take when we left this place forever but we did not know how far we would have to travel or what we would find along the way. If we encountered a group like ours while out in the world we would be sure not to be taking their path, though sometimes members of our group would decided that they liked the others’ path better and leave to join them just as some of them would come to join us. Otherwise, we would continue on this path until we found another place to stay for the next seasons.

We would know nothing about the place we would come to except what those who had previously stayed there had left behind, just as we now were leaving those things behind which we could not pack or carry. Sometimes we would come to places that were completely empty, and we wondered how those who had stayed there had managed to take all they had with them. Other times we would find places where they had seemingly left everything behind and we wondered how they were able to survive their travels. Some places would have left elaborate histories of who had lived there while others would have removed everything that would have told anything about them.

For ourselves we had left behind the food and items we could not carry and released the animals that we would not be taken with us. As was our way, we had placed traps upon some of the left behind items and corrupted some of the left behind food so that those who came behind us would learn caution. That was our lesson.

But that was all done, and for today there was only the feast and the stories and the songs and the companionship. It was the Day of Leaving and we were celebrating with the Feast of Departure.

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