Sometimes I dream of a place where the sun is kind and the air is as soft as rose petals. It is a place where fat clouds roll in from the ocean and weep gentle tears on the land. Wild flowers grow in abundance here and the grass seems to shimmer with its own particular shade of green. There are gentle streams and jagged cliffs and valleys that cascade into the sea.
The silence is broken by the shrill cry of the gulls and, on some days, the mist envelopes the land in a ghostly embrace. There are pretty harbours and ruined castles and an abundance of history and legends. And I would be at peace there. My soul would soar to the heavens and fly with the birds. My wandering heart would have found its home.
And I often wake up from these dreams, in the stillness and darkness of the night, with a yearning for I know not what. Because sometimes I feel like a stranger in my own land. Like an exile from some other other place or some other time. Because the sun is unforgiving here and the land is dry as a bone. All summer long I have searched in vain for a blade of grass or something that will remind me of the beauty of spring. And when I don’t find it? Well, I wish myself away. Over the sea and far away. Because although I am here physically, totally grounded, with the weight of responsibility anchoring me down, that other part of me (my spirit self?) soars to that other place; that other place where the sun is kind and the air is sweet and the mist embraces the land.
Hiraeth: a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return,a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.
Don’t you just love Pinterest? It’s a great place for finding these weird and wonderful words that totally inspire me to create my own take on them. Hiraeth is a Welsh word (in Cornish it is hireth) so I won’t attempt to pronounce it, but you can hear how the Welsh say it here.