The Country And The City
It was upon arrival one’s vision first changed. The looming mountains daunting over the valley, streams darting vertically, gushing into the crowds of other droplets gathering below. A sense of calm and easy going, life's pace one of tranquility; no sense of urgency.
There lay the distinct difference; our brick wall confinement was extinct, reliance and dependence upon technology destroyed, we were in the real world now. A world where solid, hard labour prevailed, outdoor strenuous labour, independent of the obstructive weather conditions.
As the coach left us, we knew it had begun. The last remininsces of home lay within the confinements of our rucksacks. Tightly bound sandwiches, clothes, locked into sealing dry bags; the endeavor ...view middle of the document...
Engulfed into the minimalist land, the sighting of a person emulating ones reaction to an extinct species, the excitement of having reached a landmark, a sign we were on the path. A person to a thousand sheep could be said. They blanketed the hills, a warm snuggly layer of wool, cushioning the rocks. Their inharmonious bleat, taking one by surprise. And then, as if by magic there were more, little lambs, tiny lambs; little white clouds mounted upon gangly legs. Over and under they darted through fields, never straying afar from their adoring mothers, their guiders, their leaders, and their role model. They were their map. Ewes plotted their darling’s journey, guarded their babies, prepared them for life ahead. Almost like preschool drop off, hands clinging on tight, determination to never be apart, all except, perhaps, the congestion. The only essence of congestion in Wales: the gated fields feeding through sheepfolds. Not like back home, our snaking instincts to form a general queue at any given opportunity, obstructing the way for all others.
Littered only with sheep, the streets were clean. No sense of corruption, negligency and distaste rare. This was the old world. Stone cottages sporadically positioned amongst their lush, extensive fields, christened with twisting ivy and whistling weeping willows. Tiny, crooked windows peeked onto the mountains, just wide enough to see the sun appear over the horizon, ancient barn doors swinging into the hills, opening the door to a new days work. Submerged in mud, the tractor awaits its adventure, its 3m wheels begging to roll around, dwarfing our little 20inch alloys. Pungent scents of manure and fresh air anointed the nostrils, the closest we reached to perfumes, the natural air freshener of the mountains.
A world away from home, a world away from one.