I met the Wanderer once, in my travels. She was on foot, and I on a horse; her pack looked heavy, her sword sharp, her eyes shallow, and so very gold. Her tongue traipsed over words like a dancer, and her lips, when she smiled, were like the bend in a river: fluid and lithe, but gone in an instant as I passed on the current.
Would she sup with me? She would, and she and her melodious tones sat with me to share what I had, which was sufficient. We talked; I told her of my home and my wives, and the honey that I carried to the winery. I told her of the valley I lived in, and how green it was, how blue the mountains could be, how the river cut through it like the most excited of knives. I told stories of my children, and how they played. She described golden pools and mountains that breathed like they were alive, and cities that shimmered like pearls, and beautiful races graced with wings, long dead, but alive in legend. She made me wish to see the world, but told me to stay with my delightful valley and my happy family. Someday, she said, such things, such bliss, would be a thing of the past. She had seen the ghosts of things that might come, and things that would come, and the world would change.
While we spoke, she wove, and wrapped her spell around a wooden charm on her belt, inscribed with the head of a mighty dragon. She pulled it tight and stitched it in with deft fingers, gently humming to herself and loosing her river-bend lips in a song, so slow, so soft, that I saw my home at sunset, and my children, and my wives; I saw the blue mountains from above, with clouds drifting gently over them, and winged men and women dancing in the vapors, bathed in pink from the setting sun.
For you, she said, and handed it to me. That you may never forget what you have, in favor of what you have not. Touch it when you feel discontent, and remember. Then she said that she must continue, and bowed to me before she left.
That was many years ago; most of my children have left the valley to build a happiness of their own, but I stay here. This is where the bees sing and the sunsets turn the clouds pink; this is where my wives live, and where the mountains are so blue. Here I will stay, blessing the Wanderer and leaving my offerings to her at the bend in the road, that she may sup with someone else.