It is strange that the Mind will forget so much, and yet hold a picture of flowers that have been dead for thirty years and more.
I remember the flowers that were on our window-sill while my mother was talking that morning, and I can see the water dripping from a crack in the red pot on the end, for Bronwen was standing there, with her face in deep, dull gold from the sun on the drawn blind.
Thirty years ago, but as fresh, and as near as Now.
No bitterness is in me, to think of my time like this. Huw Morgan, I am, and happy inside myself, but sorry for what is outside, for there I have failed to leave my mark, though not alone, indeed.
An age of goodness I knew, and badness too, mind, but more of good than bad, I will swear. At least we knew good food, and good work, and goodness in men and women.
But you have gone now, all of you, that were so beautiful when you were quick with life. Yet not gone, for you are still a living truth inside my mind. So how are you dead, my brothers and sisters, and all of you, when you live with me as surely as I live myself?
Shall we say that good Dr. Johnson is dead, when his dear friend Mr. Boswell brings him to thunder and thump before your very eyes? Is Socrates dead, then, when I hear the gold of his voice?
Are my friends all dead, then, and their voices a glory in my ears? No, and I will stand to say no, and no, again. In blood, I say no.
Is Ceinwen dead, then, and her beauty dear beside me again, and her eyes with jewels for me, and my arms hurting with the grip of her fingers?
Is Bronwen dead, who showed me the truth of the love of a woman? Is she dead, who proved to me that the strength of woman is stronger than the strength of fists, and muscles, and the male shoutings of men?
Did my father die under the coal? But, God in heaven, he is down there now, dancing in the street with Davy's red jersey over his coat, and coming, in a moment, to smoke his pipe in the front room and pat my mother's hand, and look, and O, the heat of his pride, at the picture of a Queen, given by the hand of a Queen, in the Palace of a Queen, to his eldest son, whose baton lifted voices in music fit for a Queen to hear.
Is Mr. Gruffydd dead, him, that one of rock and flame, who was friend and mentor, who gave me his watch that was all in the world he had, because he loved me? Is he dead, and the tears still wet on my face and my voice still cutting through rocks in my throat for minutes while I tried to say good-bye, and, O God, the words were shy to come, and I went from him wordless, in tears and with blood.
Is he dead? For if he is, then I am dead, and we are dead, and all of sense a mockery. How green was my Valley, then, and the Valley of them that have gone.
How Green Was My Valley
And that's the best reason I can provide for all that I do, genealogy wise. If you're looking for families, be sure to check out my virtual cemeteries, set up in groups according to my great-grandparents: Hatton Moore & Edna Hanna, Benjamin Clay & Josie Rawlins, Carl Hubert & Mildred Wells, and Isam Judd & Dena MacMullen. I have also started cemeteries for my husband's family.
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