18 August, 2011

I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.

Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Five days in Wales have passed but the songs and words still rest in my head. The Welsh rugby supporters in Millennium Stadium serenading the English . . . "bread of heaven, bread of heaven . . . feed me until I want no more!" still drone in my ears. The conversations meandered and were imprecise, but words spoken in the Swansea house where Dylan Thomas grew up brought back images, some good and some bittersweet, to reflect. As the three year anniversary of my father's passing clung to my thoughts, surfaced the verse "Do not go gently into that good night. Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage rage against the dying of the light". I still haven't got peace for never properly knowing the old man.

Almost four weeks ago I left Paris and reached the White Cliffs of Dover by ferry. That rainy morning on 27 July the wind blew over the Channel as if mother nature was unhappy with me. My mind raced with anticipation.

Two weeks at St. Antony's College were filled with cheers, engaging talks, new friends, good mates, hopes for the future, and unwilling goodbyes. Oxford treated me well and I didn't want to say farewell. On came Wales, with her fire breathing dragon and her gentle people. Of an uncertain night in Cardiff ending with the superb hospitality of a Welsh policeman, of kind travelers who stopped to give a lift to a perfect stranger stranded at the side of the road, and an elegant Swansea lady who put her soul and her fortune into the memories of a poet.


The Turf Tavern
Oxford, England