It’s almost All Hallows Eve. In our country home, the days are getting shorter and darker. I can hear the wind whistle through the trees and chimneys from my bed-chamber.
It’s cold at night. I wear extra bedclothes to keep the cold out. At court, they have endless fires in the hearth to keep the King warm all year round. I bet my cousin Katherine does not sometimes need to wear her cloak in bed. It must be so wonderful living in luxury at court...
The wind is whistling through the chimneys as I write this by candlelight. My pen is casting dancing shadows across the room and the whistling gives the evening a ghostly feel that is fitting to the season.
All Hallows Eve is the night when the worlds between the living and the dead are closest. It’s when the souls of those who are gone pass through purgatory ready for judgement. I’ve been told that the worlds get so close that spirits can sometimes cross over to our realm, just for the night. The boys who work in the garden tell me terrible stories about malevolent spirits being spotted around the grounds. I don’t believe them but as I hear the house groaning in the wind it’s hard not to be a little afraid.
This is the last year I’ll be allowed to go ‘Souling’. I am becoming a lady and apparently, it’s not respectable to go door to door begging for soul cakes. They’re my favourite treat, spice cakes given out by the people of the village. In exchange, we pray for the household’s dead as they pass through judgement. I think that seems like a fair deal for a small cake.
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