20 September 2010
Monday's Word - Hiraeth
What's that got to do with 'Hiraeth' I hear you ask, and what does the word mean, anyway?
Well, I'll get to that in a moment. A friend and I were talking about one day returning to the land where our roots are - hers in Virginia, mine in rural Wales.
It made me think of the old song I remember from my childhood:
'We'll keep a welcome in the hillside, we'll keep a welcome in the vales, we'll kiss away each hour of 'hiraeth' when you come home again to Wales.'
We were both feeling a bit 'homesick'. That's what Hiraeth is - it's Welsh for being homesick for Wales - but more than that - it's a deep longing, really homesickness doesn't come close to the intensity of feeling that 'hiraeth' invokes. I now live in a beautiful part of England, close to the Chiltern hills. But I long for the wild mountains of my native Wales, the mountains which inspired many of my stories, and the lakes and mountain streams. I used to live near the sea. Somehow I miss the mountains more than the sea, although I enjoyed walking or riding along the beach, and I do love water. I am, and always have been a country lover and would be suffocated by city living. However I know that people who were born and brough up in the city would be just as lost if they suddenly found themselves living in the country. I think the place where one grows up permeates one's body and soul, so there is always a part of you that remains there. 'You can take the woman out of Wales,' I tell my friends 'but you can't take Wales out of the woman.'
I hope one day I will return to the 'land of my fathers', as I also hope everone who finds themselve in a land which is not their home, will be able to return one day to theirs.
Posted by Hywela Lyn at 12:51 am