From Carol Browne
It is a shame they aren’t taught in schools. The UK comprises four nations so why should English alone be the national tongue? Welsh is a British language and the Britons were here first!
Apart from the historical and cultural reasons for learning another language, it has been shown to help with cognitive function and to ward off dementia. It opens up neural pathways in the brain and is especially good for the mental development of children. Other languages can stretch our minds with their varied uses of syntax and imagery; it is a different way of looking at the world.
book. So I tried. I desperately wanted to learn Welsh because being Welsh was an obsession of mine. Coincidentally, all my family holidays were spent in Wales as we weren’t too far from the Welsh border. Trust me, once you cross that border you feel different. There is something a bit magical about Wales. Druids, castles, dragons, yes! But the whole ethos of that country feels otherworldly. The beaches are gorgeous too and there are stunning waterfalls and lush woodland that seem to be a natural haunt for the faerie folk.
My attempt at learning Welsh on my own at such a young age was a failure. I could write the words but had no idea how to say them. No Internet then. There were no evening classes and no college courses in Welsh, even had I been old enough to attend. I was forced to abandon the attempt. But my obsession with Wales persisted. I didn’t just want to speak Welsh; I wanted to be Welsh. Being English instead actually caused me considerable depression. Bonkers! Why would a child have such outlandish thoughts!
Fast forward twenty years to a morning bus ride on my way to work. I remember it clearly. I was gazing sadly out of the window, thinking that if anyone were to ask me what my biggest regret in life was, I would have to say, “Not being Welsh”. Only one thought cheered me up. That evening there was something to look forward to. A neighbour and I had booked readings with a local clairvoyant medium. Although we both had an interest in spiritual and esoteric matters, we had not been to a medium before and it was a bit of a giggle; but I was not prepared for what I was to hear.
“One day, you will go back to Maesteg and recognise where you used to live,” she went on.
For all those years before that clairvoyant released me from my past-life enchantment, I endured an inexplicable longing for a place with which I felt a profound but irrational bond. It was nostalgia for a home that no longer existed and a sense of deep sorrow and regret to have lost it. I experienced something for which there is no word in English.
But there is a word that encapsulates all of those feelings. The word is hiraeth. It’s Welsh, of course!
Here is a brief into to my latest book. I hope you enjoy it.
An elf laments a passing era,
But truth and beauty will survive,
For they live on in stories and verses,
And in our imaginations thrive.
Nature, nostalgia, mystery and magic,
In twisty tales and poems that rhyme,
Are here, with myth and fantasy blended,
To capture another place and time.
Impressed, her teacher pinned it to the wall and, in doing so, showed the child which path to follow.
Over the years poems and stories flowed from her pen like magic from a wizard’s wand.
She is much older now, a little wiser too, and she lives in rural Cambridgeshire, where there are many trees to hug.
But inside her still is that little girl who loved Nature and discovered the magic of words.
She hopes to live happily ever after.
Wow! Great post, Carol. And Sloane, thanks for sharing. 💗ReplyDelete
That's totally cool, Carol! Loved the post!ReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting me, Sloane. I love those pics you used. I'm still learning Welsh. I have a lesson every day and am determined to stick at it. It's a difficult language, being very different from what I'm used to, but I absolutely love it!ReplyDelete
I'm big at diving into past lives too, Carol. It's amazing when you find out who you were and what kind of emotional attachment you have, you suddenly release the energy karmically. Love it! Hugs and thanks for sharing, my friend. I'm sure we've shared past lives together...wink.ReplyDelete
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Absolutely! There is some part of you that remains Welsh even in this life and I so hope that you will visit your previous home in Maesteg one day. Keep up your Welsh lessons if for no other reason than they exercise your brain, but I hope you will be able to use the language in Wales one day in the not too distant future! Great blog!ReplyDelete
Such an interesting post and yes, once we crossed the border, those incomprehensible syllables had us floored. Couldn't even GUESS what they meant even though our name is Hughes - hey, my husband is Trevor Hayden Hughes - but, we are NZers!ReplyDelete