After many years of thinking about Wales, I finally had my chance to visit. My dad drove me there, and bless his heart because it was a long drive. I had a couple reasons for wanting to visit. Firstly, I grew up with my mom’s family, the Morgans, claiming an ancestral link to Wales. Then my father relatively recently told me that the Greens have a link to a village called Treherbert, a coal mining town.
Wales had a certain mystique to it in my imagination since I was a child. A couple of years ago, I learned that my dear friend’s family was from Wales and so I asked my dad for more information. We discovered that my friend and I’s towns are not that far away- opposite sides of a valley (about 10 km as the crow flies). Her side is the Neath Valley (pastoral, sheep farming, and green vegetation).
My relatives (Samuel Green) who lived in Wales were there because of the coal industry. The town Treherbert, reflects the very utilitarian nature of this industry. To be honest, I felt uneasy there. My dad suspected Treherbert wasn’t going to be my favourite place. He was right. But I realized that people moved to where they needed to go to make a living. The coal industry would have been difficult.
About ten minutes away from Treherbert, when we drove into the Neath Valley, I saw the beauty of Wales: pastures adjacent to forested mountainsides, with the Brecon Beacon mountain range in the distance. Wild and majestic! It was then that I could see why my friend loved her homeland. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed by my family’s link to Wales. But to be fair, I’ve seen a fraction of Wales. I will be back.
Before we headed home to England, my dad and I visited Mincourt Waterfall. It was beautiful. I think fairies live here.