Season of Seeds

The woman awoke to the birds announcing the dawn of a new day with their cacophonous songs. She sleepily turned to her husband to see he if he was awake as well but he was still fast asleep. She gently nudged him awake and he groaned, refusing to open his eyes. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in close to get a few more undisturbed minutes of sleep. He has never been a morning person, especially this time of year when there is so much work to be done on the farm.

They lay together in each other’s arms until the sound of their youngest daughter’s crying forced them to get out of bed. Before rising to tend to their child, the woman’s husband kisses her on the cheek and then leaned down to kiss her swollen belly. The couple had already been blessed with two daughters and they are hoping that this third child will be their first son. The man picked up the crying girl and tried to calm her down. The woman checked the pot of porridge resting on the coals and added honey to it until she was satisfied with the taste, then she scooped the porridge into wooden bowls and placed them on the table while her husband woke their eldest daughter so that the family could eat together. With their youngest daughter on his lap, the man made silly noises to make the infant girl giggle while he fed her the cooling porridge. Since the woman was quite far along in her pregnancy, she told her oldest daughter that the girl would be helping her father in the field today.

When the family left the house to begin their work, the women was in awe with how much her eldest had grown. The girl is old enough to begin learning the knowledge of the earth that has been passed down their family from mother to daughter since time immemorial. She will learn which plants to touch and which need to be handled with care; which can heal and which can kill; which can aid in fertility and which, the mother prays her daughter will never need to use, will save her from unwanted pregnancy. The woman will teach her daughter of the sacred herbs and how to harvest them. The mistletoe, when grown on the oak, must never be touched for only the Druids can harvest that plant with their golden scythe. But all this will be taught in time, the women thought, she is still young and has much to learn before she reaches womanhood.

While her husband began tilling the field, their eldest daughter followed behind planting the grain in the freshly churned earth. The woman took her youngest girl down to the river to wash their clothes. On the way to the water, the pair had found some berries growing near the house and stopped to snack on some. Still a messy eater, the toddler was completely sticky with berry juice by the time they reached the river. Once they reached the bank, the girl tore off her berry-stained clothes and raced into the frigid waters to bathe. She shrieked with laughter as she began splashing around while her mother collected the discarded garments and hoped the juice would come out. The woman scrubbed at the fresh stains on the girl’s dress while she began chasing small fish around the river. Satisfied that the laundry was clean, the woman collected her giggling daughter and returned to the house.

The field had been fully plowed in their absence and the oldest daughter had already begun making the bread that that they would have with their lunch. The woman set the laundry to dry and began roasting the chicken her husband had just finished butchering. Properly seasoned and cooked to perfection, the family enjoyed their meal of roast chicken and bread together. Once they had finished eating, the woman quickly collected the dried laundry and brought it inside as the sky had darkened considerably, announcing that rain was on its way. The family sat by the hearth to enjoy the rest of their day indoors as the thunderstorm began. The women mended holes in their clothing while her husband carved small wooden figures for the children and told them their favourite stories. As she did, she felt her baby kick and she knew that it was only a matter of days before she brought a third life into the world.

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