Well, here I am on my way home.   This travelling and living out of a suitcase is not my scene or style.  I am very much a “home body” but this journey was necessary to tie off some loose ends.


I am sitting on a most uncomfortable seat on a Railway Platform in North Wales waiting for a connection which will take me back to London, the Airport and HOME.   This has been a journey with lots of travel by train to places that hitherto were just words I had heard, and places better known to my Father.  I had heard him mention them over and over again. Places he loved and which had been a part of his life too.  It has been a time of meeting people from the long ago – who were, like me, only children at the time. We knew each other very well then and laughed and played – watched the sun rise and set and generally just enjoyed childhood family holidays.


It is different now, the years have come and gone and life has treated us all differently – and now there are just two of us left and I was summoned from the other side of the world to meet my cousin and sort things out.  It was a huge step for me to agree to travel but I did and now I am on the move again – going home.   I digress; there is a lot to tell before I close the pages on this chapter of my life.    It’s rather like coming to the end of a book with all that has happened coming to a conclusion.


As a child I roamed freely among the Welsh Hills and ran with joyful abandon, made daisy chains and watched cloud pictures.  I rode a Welsh Mountain pony and it is only now that I realise how truly free I was then.  Circumstances and times changed and my life took a very different direction and my realisation on returning was that nothing stays the same.   So much development, closure of Mines and just general change made it difficult for me to stir my memory and remember this place.  It certainly didn’t feel like “coming home”.


Buildings I had held in my memory are now gone and in their place are housing estates and people commute to big cities – gone is the country life. I had made myself a promise that I would walk the Welsh Hills again and feel the wind in my hair, and feel her music stir my soul and this is was a promise I intended to keep.


So after dinner alone and in the quiet of the long twilight I took that walk along the cliff tops which drop down to the Irish Sea.  The grass was as green as I remembered the air as fresh and sweet and the rolling of the tide was music to my soul.   This was part of me and I felt contentment.  I wanted to do these things before I met my cousin the next day – this had to belong to only me.   As I walked I felt a vague familiarity and chose to leave the main walkway and tread an overgrown path with something pulling me in a set direction.  The path was rough and steep and took me along side a fence with a stile.  I climbed over the stile and sat for a long time trying to take in the beauty of the moment. My head was light and almost spinning with the heady fragrance from the garden of a house I had almost not seen at all.  Yet it must have been there.  The evening is drawing in and there is a light in the window but no other sign of activity.   I stand by door and peep in, through windows slightly stained with salt sea mist.   It is all so familiar and I am struggling to find recall yet in my heart I know I have never been here before.


Without knowing how or quite when I am suddenly standing inside the room filled with warmth and ambience which is tugging at my heart strings.  I look around at the pictures on the walls and am immediately confronted by the image of a dark haired Romany like child – I look again and the impact of realising that I am looking at my own picture comes as quite a shock.  The handsome man in the frame next to mine, frozen in time and always beautiful, is I realise my Father.  I turn to look around the room and my fingers touch the old Welsh Dresser so familiar and so loved.   I touch again the fabric on the chairs and bask in the gentle glow of the lamplight.


I turn and look out of the windows to where the night sky is fast enveloping the cliff tops and realise that I am standing in the home of my Great Grandparents – a place I only visited once when my Father brought me as a baby and laid me in the arms of my Welsh Great Grandmother and she sang me to sleep.  Yet everything here is so familiar – the touch of the fabric, the positioning of the photographs, the faces, the glow from the lamp and the view from the window.  I hear sounds that I want to lull me to sleep always - the roll of the tide and the rippling of the water on the shore beneath the cliffs.


I am curious and anxious to know why this pulls on my heart and I sit down in that room and just let my mind stray.    It becomes clear to me – simply and easily – I know this place, the furniture, the view, the pictures – I have been here so many, many times – in stories my Father told me as a child.  His description and love for the place was planted as a seed in me when he brought me here as a baby – it was gently nurtured and nourished and it germinated into a beautiful tree of memory.


My holiday and travels are over but I have been


© Linda J. Vaughan

September 11th. 2007



The Music on this page is

"Land of My Fathers"

Land Of My Fathers

The land of my fathers is dear unto me
The land of the poets, the land of the free
Her patriots and heroes, her warriors so brave
For freedom their life's blood they gave.

Wales! Wales! Pledged am I to Wales
Whilst seas surround
This land so proud
Oh, long may our old tongue remain.


The Pages of Avalon