Year 10, Day 116

It’s strange. As the time of the gather approaches each year, I am afire with eagerness. Who has been born? Who has died, or been injured? What new pairings will be acknowledged? Will they enjoy the thank-gifts I have brought them? What can I do for them without interfering? Above all, I look forward to the relief they bring from aloneness.

When they leave, as the last did yesterday, I am just as relieved to see them gone for another year.

I think ice and snow, like the salt pebbles, will be expected from now on. I had intended only a little amusement for the children, but the People quickly found other uses for what was supposed to be only a toy.

So what shall I do while the People are following the game? Rest, I think, to start with, but I know I’ll get bored with that soon enough. Continue west from the volcanic island, to see if I really glimpsed a continent of ice? Turn east from the northern peninsula, to find if it’s a peninsula or an island? Map the interior of the northern continent, which so far I have seen only rarely in fall and winter? I’d have to be careful about that, as I do not wish to influence the northern hunters as I have the People.

Perhaps I should spend some time with Patches, who at the moment is very heavy on my feet.

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