Hiraeth

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#sol18 April 3, 2018

Most mornings (I would like to say every morning, but I have to be honest, it is most mornings) after I poke off my alarm and turn on the water heater I next switch on Calm (a mindfulness/meditation app) while I wait for the water to heat up. Tamara Levitt‘s soothing voice guides me for 10 minutes as I try to practice mindfulness. Today she introduced the word “hiraeth”, a Welsh word, meaning nostalgia or homesickness for the lost places of your past. This struck a chord with me this morning on so many levels. It could be my transition back to school after a great (and very relaxing) break, but there was more. As I prepare to move on from my school this June I am spending more time reflecting on what I will miss about here and what I hope to find in the next place, so kind of a preemptive nostalgia. Couple that with the knowledge that two of my very best friends recently spent a few days together (we live in three different countries, so time together is not easy). I do not make friends easily (I am an introverted hermit at heart), so really treasure the friends I do have. While I think back to these friendships I am ever hopeful that I will make some good friends in the next place too. Tamara ended the session by reminding us that it is important to make room for the present since life is an exercise of constant change. So while hiraeth may really focus on a place, for me, today, it brought to mind the people of my past and my hope for the future (without shutting off the present).

 

Former students still slicing- Zhi Hong and Juliet.

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5 thoughts on “Hiraeth

  1. Fran Haley

    What an incredibly beautiful word for something we’ve often experienced deep within ourselves! Magnificent topic for a post, and you captured the feeling so well. I can also relate to being a bit of a hermit at heart.

    Reply
  2. franmcveigh

    Erika, I love the new word, “hiraeth”, and can relate to the introverted hermit. Today it’s a plea, please just let me read my books. Read, read, read. And yet some days I do crave voices. ❤ Heartfelt reflection as you move on to a new chapter!

    Reply
  3. Amanda Potts

    Mmm… thanks for introducing me to a beautiful new word. I also love your reflection on “preemptive nostalgia” – I experience that. May you find the balance between past and present, inward and outward, as you move on.

    Reply
  4. Cara Wegrzyn

    I also love the Calm app! Isn’t it interesting how one thing can trigger different thoughts and memories? Sounds like you’re doing the right thing by keeping past, present, and future in balance in your life.

    Reply

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