A Day in the Life of a Peasant

My dearest Rohesia,

The days have been longer without you. Life has been the same, bland and colourless; the only hope in sight is your returning. It seems as if the crops have noticed your absence since the harvest this year has been scarce. Despite this, we are still holding on. It’s difficult, as most of the days begin to look the same.

I wake up to the familiar scent of manure and cattle. I sigh deeply as I push myself off of our makeshift bed and brush off my week old cotton skirt. The wool on my stockings itches, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I stretch as I admire my crops and watch the early birds harvest theirs. I brush myself off before heading to the corner where my handmade tools lie. I always begin with the reaping, so I grab my sickle. Most days, we don’t have enough food for breakfast, so I head out the door, remembering the meals we had when you were here.

Once outside, I begin my short walk towards the crops. I start by reaping the crops, eventually moving onto sowing. By the time I complete the strenuous task of tending to the crops, the day is nearly approaching dusk. I head back towards the house, the muddy walls appearing evermore bland.

Since I’m the oldest now, I get back sooner to prepare dinner. I dip my hands in the stream behind the house as I watch the traces of dirt fade from my hands and head downstream. After I lift my hands out of the water, I shake them dry before heading into the house to prepare the bread and porridge. It only takes several minutes for everyone else to arrive, their eyes are as shallow and tired as I imagine my own to be. Unfortunately, we only have a small loaf of bread for the 9 of us, but we could make do. We ate the bread in silence as I pondered what other meals we would have soon.

Realistically, we won’t have any food other than bread, plain stew, or fruit, but I look forward to the next time we could have ale— even if my last taste was years ago, I could still taste the pleasant tingling on my tongue. I sighed, breaking the silence.

Since you’ve left, we’ve been struggling to feed the family. Without your presence, there’s a an emptiness noticeable in our family; although we are fed adequately and healthily, our spirit is drained and hollow without you. I just pray that we’ll have enough food until the next harvest.

After dinner, we migrate to the other side of the room— the sleeping area. Once everyone is on their correct mats, we lay in silence until dawn.

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