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Introduction to Wales

Perhaps 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.

Wherever 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.

Perhaps 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".

How 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.

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