Monday, 10 May 2010

Calan Mai

The word around me is fresh green and cream. The trees have been pushing out new growth with a vengeance and the blossom on the Prunus is everywhere. London is looking pretty. It means that the windows in my flat are open 24 hours a day leaving the place feeling and smelling fresh, something which is surprising for London, but then I suppose it should be ‘London fresh’ which is probably a shade or two further down the fresh spectrum that other parts of the country. This is my kind of spring and the kind of summer I would want; warm, sunny yet not too hot and humid. Fingers crossed.

The wheel is turning and we are well into the season of sunshine and growth; soon will be an appropriate time to mark this change and celebrate the calends of May. 

I spent the first weekend of May in Snowdonia with other people from Brython. I have met some of them before; though meeting the others was perhaps the most important part of the weekend for me. To go from online interaction to a face to face ‘format’ is hugely valuable, itself as an experience and also for future contact; having a voice, a face and a way of talking to apply to otherwise anonymous communication is fantastic.

We spent the first night camping out in a field on the banks of the Conwy, a bit chilly – colder than a witch’s tit to be accurate – but a nice way of easing out of urban life. An early start the next day and we were climbing into the mountains. Everything about the landscape there reminds me of home: the hills, the peaks, and the rolling heath-land. I could just as well have been in north Pembs for all I knew. I think was the biggest kick for me; the feeling of being back in a familiar place, the ‘hiraeth’. Lately I have been almost pining to move back into a more rural setting or at least on the very hinterland between rural and urban.

We walked for a few hours up into the mountains along what I presume is a fairly old track; winding up into the hills and with wayside sheep folds that would have been the peeling off point for farmers making this trip to maintain their very livelihood. The showers that fell from the sky occasionally were welcome in some respect to cool me off – a rucksack with an additional 5kg of fuel on your back for an uphill climb can get the internal furnace firing up.

There was a weird juxtaposition between frogspawn in the puddles, fledging skylarks and the snow that still clung on it the highest peaks. It was as if there was a very literal intermingling of spring and winter, the weather only went to enhance that.

Twenty four hours later we walked down from that wild, windy and lonely place. As Potia has described; it was very much a case of going up there in winter and coming down in spring.

I had expectations of that weekend, they weren’t realised but I think what I got out of ti was far more important; spending time with a community; building those community bonds which we hope only to strengthen. And of course being there alongside someone making a very real journey; far more than a simple trek into the mountains. It seems almost surreal in some respects, as if she underwent the journey and we were pulled along with her into it as guides/support/companions. I think I know what my place was in those events and I am pleased and honoured to be part of it. More so because of the lessons I have learned as a result.

There has been a bit of a hiatus on here of late, I have things I want to expunge but am totally lethargic about. I think sovereignty will feature in the next couple of posts as it is something that needs addressing.


dreamguardian said...

It was a surreal weekend & seems to of been the case for others who were there, too.

I think we all had expectations, ideas and even plans we wanted to apply. However, I sense there was another influence going on & shaping our individual and collective experience.

Community, bonds of a tribe were the lasting memories of the whole experience for me, too.

Glad to of been a part of it, with everyone.

Potia said...

It was indeed a surreal weekend and a very special one.

There's still no sign of hawthorn blossom around here in Glasgow but since returning from the weekend I have felt lighter somehow.