She woke to the gray dawn as the others began stirring. She lay there, forcing her breathing to remain shallow and slow, eyes gently closed. Still sightless, her mind saw the colorless dull dry desert outside her tent in early morning light. Mother was up and moving about beginning to prepare the morning meal which would doubtless be the same meal as yesterday, which was the same as the day before, and the day before for nearly as long as she could remember. The morning break fast held little mystery beyond the food that sustained them. The drought saw to that. She supposed she was grateful there was at least adequate supply for all of them.
The sleeping mat felt warm and smelled of sweet yellow hill flowers, thanks to the airing her mother insists on giving it every day, unlike the heavy coarse blanket that she pulled to just under her nose. It always reminded her of the scrub brush, the eshel, which encircled the camp. It too was coarse, gray-brown and scratched when you walked through it. She wondered, why clean the mat every day if the blanket were only aired after the Sabbath?
Her summer nightdress was twisted and caught up high between her thighs as though she were wrestling during the night. Her long deep brown hair was likewise tangled around her head in its typical morning knot that would require half the day to unsnarl. She knew she should remember to tie it back before she fell asleep, but…
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