After my journey around parts and places within Britain, I finish the time with a week on the Llyn peninsula, North Wales where family still live. It is as beautiful as Wyn Griffith wrote about (earlier post) – mystical, magic, such words are appropriate here and the cottage that I stayed in looked out over a landscape which included Bardsey Island, home to 20,000 saints … but who’s counting.
As dusk slowly misted the view on my last night there, my impulse was to take the laptop outside, find Gurrumul’s song ‘Wiyathul’, face his blind eyes to Bardsey Island and to let him sing. His music along with words that I don’t understand but do feel, make my own eyes well up, such is his quiet power.
Why Gurrumul? Why should he come to mind at this time? After almost sixty years away from Wales and living my life in Australia, of having some empathy for a culture in which language and that spiritual, real connection to country has, for the most part, been trivialised, diminished and demeaned by the society which later arrived and threatened to overwhelm Aboriginal life entirely, I see the parallels with Wales, the Welsh, the ancient Britons who, likewise suffered the same indignities.
How am I to know whether my ancestors or his approved of my action but it brought some peace to me and just felt appropriate.