"Ponderynge together yestardayes promise, and two-dayes doyng"
(Hall's Chronicle - 1548)


"Goronigl gwyr yr Ynys" (Lewis Glyn Cothi - 1450)

Penderi


Penderi Woods on the cliffs of Cardigan Bay

…… though in these woods there was no path at all, nor any sign that there was ever one, a tangle of wildwood hanging on at the edge of sea cliff, a remnant of pathless forests where no shoes trod - just a scrap now to explore, though not to get lost in, as you should, in a forest, or it is no forest however venerable the trees , for any path must always take you somewhere uncertain, so that you are unsure where you might be, must always be a portal to another world, for however brief a moment, before it resolves itself to a direction; must always cease to be a path you can rely on.

If there is no path you cannot be led astray.

To step away, off the coastal path, with its waypoints at villages, farms, track junctions, and to be briefly in the ancient wildwood before staring through the edge of the trees down cliffs to the beach below is to inhabit a fragment of a world, a small parcel of land belonging to another time that has not left enough of itself to give us more than a glimpse of its pathless terrain..

There are other tracts of this ancient woodland up in the mountains further inland, stunted and gnarled old oaks hanging on steep slopes in valleys too deep and narrow even for mountain sheep, or scraps of it somehow surviving on open hillsides, hints of how things were, once, but not at all how things were because transparent, with views through to open ground, a road, fences.

And the trees huddled within the borders of their reservations.