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Medhel an Gwyns

legacy(Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash)

I read somewhere that it takes three to four generations for a person to be forgotten. Their names lost, their existence erased in its entirety. Memories don’t last forever — even the deepest roots we put down are often pulled out by time. I don’t know who my great-grandparents were or what they looked like. And all I leave behind for my children will be diluted and washed away by my great-grandchildren, who will never know me. That’s just how it works.

This is why I’ve always been partial to folklore and ballads. They bring with them a richness, raw honesty in their tales of love and loss. Men going to war, women working on farms, lives burning bright until they blink out at night. Every culture has tales of wise men and fools, summer love, and lonely nights. And all of them sing it to their young, hoping that their laughter and tears trickle down generational journeys. 

If you sift through history, you’ll find songs and stories so resplendent, they don’t need music to touch hearts. They march through time, incandescent and grand, living in women a hundred years ago, and their great-granddaughters today. 

I wish to write such stories in my lifetime. Put the right words together, pepper them with passion and stir the whole dish until it tastes just like it should. And it’s not vanity that drives me. Or the desire to be rich and famous. I don’t possess the smarts or the talent to be that conceited.

But I love my craft. Writing and storytelling are like religion. Taking what’s inside me and molding it with words that don’t just look pretty but touch something inside the reader. I may never make a dime with my work. And I don’t mind being forgotten three to four generations from now.

But even if one person, decades later, remembers a version of one of my stories, I’d consider it a life well spent. 

I thank you, dear reader, and leave you with a Cornish folk song: 

Medhel an Gwyns (the wind is soft).

Memories like voices that call on the wind

Medhel an gwyns, Medhel an gwyns

Whispered and tossed on the tide coming in

Medhel o’ Medhel an gwyns 

Voices like songs that are heard in the dawn

Medhel an gwyns, Medhel an gwyns

Singing the secrets of children unborn

Medhel o’ Medhel an gwyns

 

Dreams like the memories once born on the wind

Medhel an gwyns, Medhel an gwyns

Lovers and children and copper and tin

Medhel o’ Medhel an gwyns

 

Dreams like the castles that sleep in the sand,

Medhel an gwyns, medhel an gwyns,

Slip through the fingers or held in the hand,

Medhel o’ medhel an gwyns.

 

Songs like the dreams that the bal maidens spin,

Medhel an gwyns, medhel an gwyns,

Weaving the song of the cry of the tin,

Medhel o’ medhel an gwyns.

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