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Gone in 1800 Seconds

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Dear Mom and Dad,

Hello again! I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last letter. If I thought Celestia kept me busy back when I was her student, well, that’s nothing compared to these diplomatic missions. I can’t go into too much detail about what we’re doing right now, but I really think I’m winning over the tengu we’ve met out here. I’ve been doing this for months, but it’s still hard to believe no pony has ever set hoof in these countries before me. But it’s exciting, too. And you’d think I’d be nervous about making a good first impression, but I’m really not! Making friends is the one thing I don’t ever doubt I can do.

Speaking of friends, I’ve been hearing from mine on a daily basis. It’s a good thing we’re not trying to hide, because the constant flame belches would make that impossible! Gosh, where do I start? Rarity is still keeping in touch with you, right? She told me once that she’d treated you to dinner after a particularly good quarter. She’ll probably come by again soon; her newest line is flying off the hangers faster than she can sew! Although she’d probably have more time to work if she weren’t constantly writing to a certain assistant of mine...

Spike is doing better than ever. He’s finally getting comfortable in his own scales again, and he just never seems to run out of energy. The new horizons are doing wonders for him, even more than they are for me. He constantly surprises me with his maturity and intelligence. I’d be absolutely lost out here without him. So no change from when we were young, really.

Rainbow Dash just wrote the other day. She and the Light Rays just carried out another daring rescue over Vanhoover! At this rate they’ll replace the Wonderbolts as Celestia’s go-to rescue flight team. It’s also nice to hear that Scootaloo’s rising like a hot-air balloon in their ranks. She may have been a late bloomer, but she really bloomed. They’re heading back in the direction of Canterlot right now, alongside Sweetie Belle’s national tour, so maybe you’ll be able to meet up with them too.

Last I heard from Pinkie Pie, she was spreading her special brand of cheer in Las Pegasus. I tell you, if there’s anypony in the world busier than me—besides the Princesses, of course—it’s Pinkie. Starting new Sugarcube Corner franchises and running her own party-planning business at the same time? I don’t understand how she does it! Of course, there are a lot of things Pinkie does that I don’t understand. But she’s one mystery I’ll always enjoy exploring figuring out.

And Applejack has been expanding Sweet Apple Acres again. It’s hard to believe that she and Fluttershy are the only two of us still living in Ponyville permanently. But if I had to pick two ponies that would never leave, it would be them. It helps that they make an absolutely amazing team. Fluttershy handles the animal and Applejack the vegetable; all they need is a mineral expert and they’d understand everything! Sorry, little in-joke there. Do you know, from the latest figures Celestia has sent me, Sweet Apple Acres alone is responsible for reducing hunger in Equestria by 17% last year? I couldn’t be more proud.

Look at this letter. Five paragraphs about other ponies and only one about me! I suppose it’s not surprising, though. It’s been years since we parted, but I think about them every single day. Spike and I were just talking about it last night. We both miss the time when all seven of us lived in Ponyville, never went more than a week without hanging out together. Sometimes when I’m sleeping under the stars in uncharted lands, I wish those days had never ended.

But they have ended. We’ll never be those young ponies we once were. We’ve grown and changed, and our lives have led us in different directions. I used to think we’d stay together forever, but that was a little naive. Then I started to hope we’d settle back in Ponyville when we’re old and retired, and you never know, maybe we will. But the truth is, we don’t have to.

It’s not our physical location that makes us friends, any more than it was the Elements of Harmony back when we still wielded them. The connection we share is something much deeper than that. And no matter where our paths take us, no matter how far apart we are, that connection will always stay strong. Bonds of the heart can never be broken.

It’s getting late; I should turn in. I’ll write again when we reach the kappa colony up ahead. I love you both, so much, and Spike sends his love too. Take care!

— Twilight Sparkle