it is hard for anyone other than someone Welsh to begin to understand
the welsh word 'Hiraeth', for it is almost untranslatable. In essence
it means a deep, deep longing for home.
in the world you see a person looking up at 'me' the Red Dragon
fluttering in the wind, ask "are you Welsh"? you may not
get an answer but you will know for sure if they are by looking
in their eyes, for they will have that far away glazed look. Their
minds, for that fleeting moment, will be attuned to my 'green and
pleasant land', while their physical desire will be to have their
feet upon it.
the best description of the feeling of 'Hiraeth' is summed up by
R. Barker in his 1936 'Christ in the Valley of Unemployment.
I preached at Nanticoke, a Pennsylvanian mining
town, where three parts of the congregation were Welsh and had heard
me preach in south Wales some seven to eight years previous. After
my sermon I went to visit one old miner, a native of the Rhondda
valley in south Wales. He had lost his vision due to working down
a mine. As I left after bidding him farewell, I looked back at the
weak pathetic figure standing in his doorway. His last words to
me were "weep not for the dead! weep for the living, for it is they who will
never see their native land again".
true, how very true, for I have also met many around the world whose
only wish was 'to come home'. So it is, that this section has been
built to tell you a little of this place, this Wales of mine, a
'Green and Pleasant' land.