Many times in my daydreams I have longed to be a maiden in the time of King Arthur and have a dashing prince like Sir Lancelot rescue me. That time period is such a romantic and beautiful time. I understand that life was definitely harder than now because people didn’t have all the modern conveniences that we enjoy today. Still, the medieval period was a time for romance, chivalry, beauty, and style. Fashion was at an ultimate peak during the King Arthur era, in my opinion. Let us take a little journey into one maiden’s life and share a little time with her.
Maid Anna lives in an English shire in the land of Camelot, a kingdom far reaching in legends to encompass lands in Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Gaul. Her cottage pales in the shadow of the regal castles scattered throughout the kingdom but it is her pride and joy. Anna’s gardens fill all the available space because she grows enough food for three or four other families with children who live nearby. They are paupers and don’t have much so Anna shares from the bounty of her green thumb.
Herb gardens decorate the landscape in flowering loveliness. She uses every available space to plant with terracing for more productivity and cosmetic enhancement. Anna’s home is her pride and joy and it doesn’t just include the inside of the cottage. The lands surrounding it mean just as much to her as the inside so she takes great care to manicure the yards, the gardens and pathways.
If you visited with Anna in her time, she would share her tools with you so you could wile away hours conversing with her in the gardens. Then she would invite you inside by the hearth for a cup of her soothing herbal tea and you would continue sharing perhaps for several more hours as the sun set and dinner simmered over the hearth. It would be a soup made from the heartiest of her vegetables and herbs along with a generous portion of freshly baked herb bread and sweet creamery butter.
Anna built a little oasis down by a stream where she planted towering vines on the trees and terracing that she created using the natural small tree limbs. Her bench is handcrafted by the man down the lane who exchanged his service for some herbs and vegetables from Anna’s garden. It is here that Maid Anna spends many hours pondering life and writing lovely poetry.
Epic poetry captivated the hearts of many in this age for King Arthur’s realm was built upon the rhymed and passionate words of smiths whose art in language wrote glorious speeches or “oratories” for the King. Maiden Anna sought the less noble in rhyme or rhetoric and chose to sing ballads to time in her written prose and poetry, well kept in journals sealed for the eyes of those whose time was yet to come. While sitting on her hand made bench, Anna would recite her prose and poetry aloud for you and me. Her voice would be soft and sweet yet in perfect cadence to the words she articulately presents. I would enjoy such a recitation even today and wish there were more places or events to enjoy this art form.
Whenever Anna walks to her special place down by the stream, she takes great care in how she dresses. Her clothing reflects her artistic mood and the nobility of her art. Carefully searching her wardrobe, Anna chooses the most delicate gowns in soft pastel colors or creams that are decked in dried flowers from her gardens. These garments are sewn delicately with love. She hand-stitched each gown as they were inspired by a life experience. You see, Anna records her stories on both paper and fabric, hoping to ensure their legacy is kept.
You can almost imagine the hairstyle Anna would wear to recite her treasured words. With her grandmother’s hair combs and beautiful pins, she pulls the sides and front of her golden hair back to the top of her head while the length flows down the back and across her shoulders. Her curls are soft and intricate and add an intriguing touch to Anna’s appearance, as she sits there postured straight and tall. She holds her book a few feet away from her eyes and almost in her lap so you can plainly see her expression as she reads to us. Are you enjoying this lovely rare experience as much as I am?
Masters in poetry inspire Anna so she reads their works for hours sitting in the setting sunlight or by the fireside during the chill of early mornings. Usually, Anna reads or writes for a couple hours a day. The rest of her time is spent working the land and visiting neighbors when she delivers gifts from her gardens or some of her special medicinals. You see, she is an herbalist who practices the old craft of making tonics and elixirs, salves and ointments, all for health and healing of the body and spirit.
If you are familiar with herbalogy today, then you know that remedies can be purchased in tea, tincture or capsule form. In you lived in Anna’s time, you would have grown and harvested and prepared all your own medicinals. I’m a little like Anna in many respects but especially in my reverence for the natural plants.
I really do not want to leave this captivating place, so maybe you will visit me here again. Meanwhile, take some time to enjoy the eras of romanticism and culture and it will enrich your life. Do you have any idea what era you would like to visit when you come back?