ye 21 April 1280

From the writings of Katlin de Camborne, who dreams more than she ought:

I am astounded that I manage any sewing at all, yet I do, between the times when my mind drifts and I am asleep, or nearly so. Thus I spent much of my day in the solar, my sewing near at hand, lying on the bed with the cat for company. Some would think ours a house of witches, with three cats admitted to our sleeping chambers, free to share our pillows. In truth they have kept us free of pests and we have fed and petted them in return; if that has made them fonder of us, why, they are soft and keep us warm in the winter. Far better a living fur than a dead one. So young Tom is content to fill the spaces I leave, nestled against me as if he were a kitten and I his mother; small striped Trix will curl into a ball and watch me work; and old gray Ada licks my face to wake me of a morning.

When I am stronger, I may be called upon to go among the people in our fee and see to their wants and needs; to that end I am ever learning how to help. I listen to my mother and Father Timothy and receive a better education than any novice, monk or nun. I desire to be neither. I am made woman, for all that is worth. I am not minded to shut myself away. That I remain so close within the manor walls is not a choice but a consequence of my illness.

In six days I go to sew with other ladies, a diversion for which I have longed all winter.

Frost still nips us hard but it will lift, and the air grow warmer with each passing day. In this I may trust, as surely as the rising of the sun.


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