I went for a walk up the valley beyond my house, today, and didn’t realise I’d forgotten my phone (and camera) until I arrived at my destination. Such a twit, I am, sometimes. Hence, no photographs, so I’ll have to rely on words in a weak attempt to capture this stunningly beautiful place which is nearby to where I now live. The following is typed directly from the notebook I carry with me, raw and unedited, so please forgive any errors.
I sit beside the stream near the end of the valley. I can’t quite believe there is such a place as beautiful as this, and so near. I sit beneath the dappled shade of the gnarled and ancient hawthorn; my seat an ancient former gate post lying on the ground. Behind me, the steep and massive slope of Eppynt rises to the heavens, its greening rise graced with jagged outcrops of rock from which hawthorns have taken root and flourished – splashes of brilliant green against the dark rocks. Scree has spilled like waterfalls down parts of the slope as if the rocks have given up their tenuous grip on the mountain.
A pebbled stream trickles beside me, its source a deep ravine at the valley’s end. The stream is low, quietly trickling a narrow path between pebbles and rocks.
To the west of me rise the forested slopes beneath the Rhiw where spilled-milk clouds sail across the forget-me-not blue. To the south, hawthorns grace the steep banks of the stream. Beyond them, many miles distant, I can see the mountains beyond Beulah and Llanafanfawr. They are cast in shades of pink, lilac, blue and gold against the cloud spattered horizon.
Silent, so silent – only birdsong, distant lambs bleating, and the breeze blowing through the trees. Mayflies dance in dizzying, short-lived circles. The cuckoo calls. Shadows race across the slopes, chased by brilliant pools of sunlight.
I leave my perch and climb up to the woods, entering the cool, deep shade. Follow the velvet-green path, its edges hemmed with glossy leaved bluebells. The path is smothered, here and there, with nodding wood-sorrel flowers, so many it is impossible not to tread on some.
The path declines into the distance – as far as the eye can see, bluebells on all sides. Where the trees become deciduous, the bluebells explode into a glorious, vast expanse of indigo blue, and bright pools of sunlight pour down like liquid gold from the canopy.
I take the route on the left when the path forks ahead, quickly immersed in the heavily dappled shade of the massive beech trees, their leaves as smooth and silky soft as new-born skin.
On and on, the bluebells stretch, suffusing the air with their perfume. The path here crunches still with last winter’s leaves and twigs. Above my head, gnarled branches, splattered with brilliant green, stretch up to touch the sky. Beneath my feet, swathes of lush, deep, new grass shimmering in the pools of light.
Heading for home, ancient and mighty oaks towering above us. The wind is stronger here, sighing through the leaves above, swaying the trunks of the pine trees beyond.
I have come full circle and emerge onto the flower be-jewelled lane with its glorious views towards the mountains; Drygarn Fawr, Garn Wen, Gribyn, Gorllwyn.
Bye for now!
Jenny Lloyd is the Welsh author of The Megan Jones trilogy; historical suspense novels set in early, 19th century, rural Wales.
You can read about the books or purchase them by clicking on the links below.
Leap the Wild Water: http://ow.ly/jEoi302jXkd
The Calling of the Raven: http://ow.ly/4uRO302jXmd
Anywhere the Wind Blows: http://ow.ly/73tq302Ov71
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