Letter: Fulfilment in Wales.
What finally reaffirmed my desire as a young man to remain in Wales was my reading of Saunders Lewis's conversion to Welsh Nationalism.
The story goes that Saunders Lewis was in the trenches in Belgium in 1916 when he was introduced to the writing of the French author Maurice Barres. One book recounts how a brilliant artist had become overwhelmed by the shallow pretentiousness of the life that he had been leading. He revisits his roots in Alsace-Lorraine where his eyes are opened to the quiet dignity and the modest, natural, self-assured ways of his countrymen, which changes his whole philosophy of life.
Two statements of his new convictions are, 'It is by throwing himself into the life of his country and his people that a man can come to know himself and cultivate his soul fully and richly and to live as an artist to the limits of his consciousness ... He who cuts himself off from his own past, his own land, is starving his soul and frustrating his whole being.'
When I read this I knew without doubt where I would live my life and, so far as I were able, what cause I would serve - the people of Wales.
I can understand therefore Dr Robyn Lewis's feeling of enrichment and fulfilment for I have experienced it and, happily, continue to experience it.
Felin Isaf, St Davids, Pembrokeshire