Each year on the 1st March I am taken back in thought to St. David’s Day when I was growing up in Wales. One of my favourite memories was of my Mum making Welsh Cakes on my Grandma’s old bake-stone the evening before, ready for the following day. The smell through the house as I drifted off to sleep was wonderful.
When I started school, things really got exciting. Mum had always dressed us up on St. David’s Day for as long as I can remember, pinning daffodils to our clothing and taking us out for the day, but school was something-else!
Boys didn’t do much in the way of dressing-up, other than wearing daffodils and leeks, but the girls wore the full Welsh costume – hats, pinnies and all – we felt very special. The best thing was that the school gave us half a day off! The mornings were spent putting on a school Eisteddfod (rehearsed for for months with much excitement and often nerves!), and we went home at lunchtime – great! There were four ‘houses’ at school – red (Coch), yellow (Melyn), White (Gwyn), and blue (Glas). Each class divided the pupils into these houses – I was in Melyn. Every class put pupils forward to perform. Piano playing was popular, as was singing. Each house had a choir which competed against each other. There was also dancing, poetry various sports – you name it, we did it. The winners of each event (1st, 2nd and 3rd) were given ribbons in the colour of their house and the points for these were added up at the end of the Eisteddfod and ‘The Cup’ ( an impressive silver beast) was awarded to the house that won the most events and later engraved with the name of that house for posterity! It was a very exciting day all round – the afternoon off being the cherry on the cake.
All this was steeped in tradition going back centuries and I hope that that part of the fun and games will never be lost. It connects us with our past and shows the importance of handing things down so they won’t be forgotten and lost in the mists of time. It is important to know what was, why it was and where it came from to shape what can be in the future. These things were done for a reason in the past, not only for show and enjoyment and in all cultures. It would be a shame to lose sight of that and get lumped all together. We are all different and our differences and traditions make the world work, making it an interesting place to explore. We all have something unique to offer and that is something to be celebrated. We can all bring something to the table.
I practice and teach Reiki The Usui System of Natural Healing for that very reason – not to lose sight of how it all began and what it meant to Dr. Mikao Usui. It changed his life and he changed the lives of others, treating and teaching them his Natural Healing System of Reiki to enable them to help and heal others and pass this teaching on for future generations to benefit, heal and care for others and to pass this teaching down through the centuries in a loving, caring tradition.