Friday, 2 November 2012

A Way Home Through the Woods

 I've been in the wrong place
long enough to know I'm in the right place now.
Eddi Reader

I was born and brought up in the Rhondda Valley. I went to Swansea University and then to the University of Wales, Cardiff for my PGCE. My first teaching post was in Hampshire and the last in West Yorkshire. For most of my adult life I lived in England. 

Cynefin is a Welsh word that cannot be simply translated. It has multiple meanings – the place of our belonging, of our roots, a place where people and nature are interconnected, the place where we were meant to be.

It took a mysterious viral illness that lasted for two years, to bring me home not just to Wales but to a part of Wales that my soul had always longed for – the mountains of North Wales. I came to live in the forest at Coed Hafod y Llyn. This forest marked the final stage in my recovery. Here I found the fulcrum – acknowledging that up and down, lost and found are all essentially places along the way.

Each year I spend a month in Manhattan and love the vibrancy of the city and the spaciousness of Central Park. Every summer I camp near The Lizard in Cornwall and feel pained when I leave the ocean and the stunningly beautiful coastal path. It is the lively connection with place that makes it worth living in.

Last week I took the opportunity to walk home through the forest from a different direction and on a newly designated path. I reconnected with the pure joy of having a forest to walk home through – right to my front door.


  1. I live between Wiltshire and Wales, but always refer to the later as home - it's as much about how I feel as I the time I spend there.

  2. I know just what you mean. I have lived in Wales for about seven years now and while I wouldn't say I could live nowhere else (my family live in Devon and I could imagine living in the West Country) it really speaks to me in a way other places have not.

  3. Hi Elizabeth,
    I find it so interesting how some places really do speak to us. I could definitely live in Cornwall and also Vancouver.
    best wishes