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  • Writer's picturePayton Tilley

A Peasant's Winter

Ah, I thought to continue our seasonal look into a medieval peasants day in winter, while it's still warm for us. (I am speaking in very broad general terms about daily habits!) Let's get in it!


Our eyes beg us to open, tantalizing us with slivers of light, but the warm stillness of sleep clings to us. For outsiden these rabbit lined clothes and out from our pallet, snow and a bleak sky will greet us. But alas, the field needs to be spread today, at some point.


Finally, we leave the comfort of the warm blankets. We slowly pull off our nightcap and start to dress, all the while, keeping an eye on the dying embers of the fire that we will soon need to be replenished if we have any hope to stay warm.


We make our way to our fields and find a surprise in the slight thawing of the snow near our home. Mayhap spring will make a swift return after all. Quickly, we blow into our hands and let the warmth bathe our fingers before sliding out our mittens and getting work done.


By midday, we have spread the field, begun pruning, feed the pig and ox, and repaired a leaning part of the fence. It's strange how sweat has formed on my cheeks and brow, while ice still covers the ground. But as the sun sinks ever lower, our resolve weakens and the harsh blackness of night brings the cold with it all over again.


Gingerly, we stoke the fire and watch the crackle and pop of every light that bounces near us. We hear the wind whistling outside and the call of a strange lone bird that has not put in for the night.


We close our eyes and stretch our feet closer to the embers dreaming, thinking, that spring shall soon return. Although, for now, we are content to rest.




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