Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Cycle of Life

Walking the dogs today, I became very much aware of the cycle of life. As I stood gazing down at the village, it's 10 years since I returned to my home town, how much has changed... The old village school the children attended is now derelict. It's the same school that the International singer, Petula Clark, attended when she was evacuated as child from London. The same school my Uncle Gerwyn went to. In fact, I think I'm right in saying they were the same age. Gerwyn died some years back. The poor man had a double amputation at tender age of 21 in a train accident. He was working on the track when a train ran over his legs, but that's another story.

The new school has been replaced by a much bigger, purpose built one. I haven't been inside it, it's in a different location down at the park near the River Taff. I expect it's nice but I doubt it has much character like the old one did.

As I closed my eyes I became aware of the sounds around me: the rustle of the wind through the leaves of the trees, the warble and tweetering of the birds, only marred by the distant'thrum' of the traffic behind me. What used to be a lovely bridleway and walk is now replaced by the A470 road. Are we really going the right way if all we are doing is creating more roads, more cars and more traffic? Instead, I believe the government should invest in more and better public transport. Where I live in Abercanaid, you can't get a bus after 6.15 pm. What good is that?

But I digress, looking up Northwards I saw the peaks of The Brecon Beacons:
http://www.go4awalk.com/userpics/pixerspix/ntoulouse/ntoulo_1.jpg

Beauty among the weeds, as my online friend, Bea Sheftel might have described them. There is so much beauty on my doorstep, but sometimes it gets lost in amongst the industrial side of the town of Merthyr Tydfil.

Still looking north was my old school, Cyfarthfa Castle. A home that was built for the Crawshay dynasty, the iron masters in 1825. How many children can boast they went to a school in a castle! Not only that, but it once belonged to one of the most powerful families for miles around in the days when Merthyr was at the heart of the industrial revolution, supplying iron all over the world. For goodness sake, I live yards from the old Glamorganshire canal that was purposely built to transport the stuff. Yet, I fear most people see these things everyday but are oblivious to them.

Below a panoramic view of the castle:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/panoramics/pages/cyfarthafront.shtml

Postcards and pictures of the canal:

http://www.ianandjo.dsl.pipex.com/glamc.htm
http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/the_glamorganshire_canal.htm

Two butterflies with matching peach coloured wings fluttered by. How long do butterflies live for? I thought it was just one day, but it maybe three. Imagine if you just had a day to live, wouldn't you want to absorb all around you? Wouldn't your senses sharpen up? It's often said that out of all the senses hearing is the last one to go. When I was a student nurse, I remember being warned by Sister to be careful whilst talking over a comatose patient who was ready to die. So if it's one of the last senses to go...then I wonder if it's one of our first senses to evolve when we are born? I suppose other senses kick in as well, but it's certainly more developed at birth than sight, when a baby's eyes are said to be unfocussed.

On my way home a furry caterpillar crossed my path, reminding me of the butterflies I had earlier seen. What a transformation. It seemed to sum up the cycle of life for me...

2 comments:

Kathy Holmes said...

Beautiful photos. Also, I was curious how long you had been away from your hometown and what drew you back? I've dreamed of returning to my hometown for over 20 years now.

Lynette said...

Hi Kathy,

I was away for around 10 years or so. While we lived away I had been pining for home and woke up one morning in the middle of the school holidays and said to my husband, 'I can't live here no more.' Such awful things had happened to us where we were living then, the place was nice mind you, but it had some bad Karma for us. He agreed we should go back home and it seemed the best time as the children were both about to start new schools anyway, so it wouldn't be too traumatic for them.

Isn't it funny how we all root for home in the end, Kathy? Even elderly people who have Alzheimer's seem to want to go back to where they initially lived. My own grandmother was forever talking about going home to Collier's Row, even though she hadn't lived there in donkey's years.