Applejack blinked. She felt solid wood underneath her back. Though it was something she’d felt through emulation more times than she could count, it was different this time. Real. It was the most reassuring thing in the world.
Applejack turned onto her side. The vibrancy of the wood, the real substantial wood, greeted her eyes, and she struggled to hold back the sudden tears that attempted to swell in response. She raised her hoof, and slammed it down onto the wood without abandon.
“Ouch!” The exclamation was the most vibrant and positive Applejack had ever cursed a burst of pain. She smiled, and looked up, beaming even brighter when the ceiling reassured her with its plain brown wood planks.
A mumble of a stirring to her side drew her attention. The bright red bow brought the tears back, and this time she didn’t fight them. Applebloom gasped as her body was pulled upright and then into the tightest hug she’d ever felt, squeezing her as though she was the anchor to a world that might disappear at any moment.
The pieces of grey on the floor were nestled snugly in place, all of them part of a larger whole that stood solid, in front of the large wooden box and its glass screen.
Applejack knew what she needed to write.
There had been no time, and she had apologized. But this wasn’t the kind of thing to leave in mind or memory. There was someone important she had to tell, and she had written the letter all the while the castles had impeded her path.
Dear Princess Celestia, she had started in her head each time.
There is such a thing as working too hard.
It’s very important to tell the difference between what needs to be done, and what can be left till later. Nopony should spend all their time working with no time to relax, no matter how important the work is.
I also learned something very important about work and fun, and that’s that neither of them needs to be strictly one or the other. Someponies love working, making progress and getting things done, which can be their idea of fun. And, on the other hoof, some types of fun can be a lot of work – they can require thinking, or pushing yourself to the limits of exhaustion – sometimes both! And just because something might seem like simple fun at first glance, doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot more too it below the surface.
Finally, I learned that no matter how hard it might be to understand what someone finds fun, there’s always something to learn about something another pony enjoys. Being open minded just might let you learn about something amazing that you never would have thought to find for yourself.
That was about as much as needed to be said. The words had been in her head for so long; now all that was left to do was to put them on paper.