The first explosion woke them, as it was meant to. Emery stretched and headed, with his brother, out to the front porch. As they went, they tugged heavy coats and scarves on to keep warm in the winter chill. Snow had fallen the previous day and the light of the fireworks danced across the white surface.

Some people had stayed up to wait for the fireworks, but Emery had always remembered waking up to them. It was a tradition he wanted to stay with, even though he was old enough that he probably could stay up to watch the fireworks bid farewell to the former year and greet the coming one.

In ancient times the loud noise and bright lights of the fireworks were thought to keep evil spirits away and bring a more prosperous new year. Now, people just enjoyed the light show. It started in muted colors, reds and blues, to signify the waning year. Gradually brighter colors were added until as the church bells in town chimed midnight, brilliant white and golden explosions greeted the New Year.

Soon the lightshow wound down and Emery sat in companionable silence with his brother. It was another tradition. The first thing said in the New Year had to be of importance in some way.

“I’m glad we’re back home,” Miles said finally. “A lot has happened but I finally feel like we’re where we’re supposed to be.”

“Me too,” Emery agreed. “Happy New Year, Mi.”

“And to you, brother,” Miles replied. Since Miles had spoken the first words of the New Year, Emery began the first song. It was an old one that spoke of times gone by and looked forward to better ones to come.

With the New Year greeted properly, Emery headed inside to get their coffee and breakfast cakes. They would sit on the porch, chatting quietly, to await the dawn. In that first light of a new year, they would tell their dreams of what was to come. Until then came Emery’s favorite part. In the silence of pre-dawn, it felt like they were the only ones in the world. Everything was made new, not just the year.