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Published: October 3rd 2013
If I am to be completely honest with you, I will admit that before choosing to study in Southwest Wales I was only vaguely aware of the fact that Wales existed. I had always wanted to travel all over the world and especially to the UK; but to say that Wales was my original and ideal study-abroad location would be a lie. Now that I have lived here for even such a small amount of time after traveling the UK for about one month, I can honestly say that Southwest, Wales is the most beautiful location that I have ever lived at the heart of.
I mean this both in the physical sense as well as in the spiritual sense as well. I have moved from place to place various times throughout my childhood, yet all of those moves were compulsory for me. Wales however was different. Wales was my choice entirely. Though if asked four months ago I would have told anyone that Ireland or Scotland would be my new temporary home, today I will tell you all that I don’t ever wish to leave Lampeter, Wales.
I feel so attached to these hills and to this campus.
It is as if in just under three weeks, I have found more of a home here than any place that has ever been a “home” to me. A home to my family and I is not a location, it is instead a state of being and a place to build relationships and foundations for the future. Through all of my moves in the past within the United States, I had never found that one special locality that I would call my home. Today I know where it is. Even if I cannot physically be here forever, I have left a mark and it has left its mark upon my soul. That mark is eternal and everlasting. It exists only within me, on the land, and in heaven. It is a place that is entirely mobile but also consistently still. I never wish to leave this beautiful set of hills because my true friends are here visiting too.
When I say “visiting,” I do not mean that we are here on holiday. I also do not mean to portray the idea that we are all just passing through. Some of us are from America or Canada, some of us
from England. Of course others are Welsh by blood. All of us however are visiting the idea of higher education, of walking the pipe across the stream on campus because it is a timeless tradition, we are all visiting the idea of making relationships both romantically and otherwise. We are visiting the idea of growing older and of realizing that we may all be just a bit too young. We are visiting pubs, losing our minds, and gathering knowledge. We do not mean to leave but only to drift away at the end of our course only to visit once again all of those things that Lampeter will leave us as souvenirs when our time here has ended.
In the next post that will appear within the next two days or so, I will continue to speak about my first impressions of Wales in the more chronological manner and will start to describe the people that I have built relationships with as well as the customs that I have been made aware of. Lastly, before signing off to get a good night’s rest before my early morning class tomorrow, I would like to leave you with a piece that
I wrote when walking the coast in Pembrokeshire. I finally had a chance to be alone after days of being crowded with others. The peace that I felt standing high above the Irish sea was so surreal that the only way to describe it would be in this way. Also, I must demonstrate it with pictures. Singular emotion is hard to portray because it is felt alone.
“’Alone’ at Whitesands Bay”
“Alone” is a word that people fear.
Alone until death or life or whatever.
Alone is however a beautiful word in Pembrokeshire.
“Alone” is beautiful on the ridge above the coast.
“Alone” is with the wind and the pebbles and the green, soft grass.
I am alone with the past and the future and all that I pass.
I would wander forever alone on this pretty little path.
Rocks are hard and are not a bed.
Yet on these green and purple stones, I would forever lay my head.
If only the world would allow this peace to last it would stand.
“Alone” dwells between the rocks, the sea, and the prayers
that are said
as my foot falls lead me away instead.
Whitesands Bay is heaven on earth
If angels exist they exist to guard me through this beautiful dirt.
Alone I feel beautiful and free in the cleanest place that a person could be.
If “home is behind the world ahead,”
then let me turn upon my heels and clutch my skirt
For if home is behind, I may never turn toward it again.
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