Thursday, 2 April 2015

From the valleys to the extreme heat

Quite frankly I have reached a stage where writing anything makes me sick with worry. So why write? Well I am also aware that part of the root of the worms living in my stomach is fear. Fear of writing the wrong thing, fear of hurting people, fear of creating conflict, fear of just mucking up without realising till its too late.

On reflection comes the realisation that these are the very fears that have often got me into so many pickles. So I want to push through.

 I was brought up in a "strongly faithed' family although not strict brethren we were a sort of off shoot 'radical type' style of brethren. Women adhered to the submission of men in a classic sense. Women wore head coverings and dressed in simple fashion. Main stream life/music/dress were seen as wrong and sinful  "of the world".

The men in our lives were strong larger than life dominate characters who took the younger men under their wing. Teaching them the same radical strengths they believed would  help build a more forgiven, holy cleaner world.

Now at this point the worms have wriggled into my core. You see I still have a very strong faith but only as a result of rejecting most of what I was brought up to believe. In fact I imagine if I were to sit down with any of those from my childhood, many would shake their heads at the way I have been 'polluted'. 

But I can honestly say my Faith is at peace now.

As a child my impression (rightly or wrongly) from an early age was of a danger, the world  simply being split between Good and Evil. The scary devil and the loving God. As a child my physical and emotional world views were full of extreme things, extreme situations, extreme environments, extreme beliefs and extreme change. No grey areas. 
The first environmentally extreme change came between the ages of four and five.

I had been born in a Welsh farm cottage in the middle of a valley, the world was mine I would wander and roam the fields and woods unhindered, it was often said that if you couldn't fine Carwen she would be at the bottom of the lane sitting in the big puddle, or watching snails gliding across  the wet garden stones (a pastime that is still well loved today).  On a Wednesday my mum would drive us to a village playgroup and then to a market for food, food that would last till the following Wednesday. That was pretty much how life ticked over. Simple, calm, isolated at peace. Very few people were around for the first four years of my life.

Then my dad decided to build himself a house from scratch in the village. We moved from the cottage and I started to attend the local village school. Only having 14 pupils it was small, but I remember grappling the mixed feelings of overwhelm, unwanted confinement, people and restriction. I would wet myself almost daily and once soiled myself which led to being teased for the first time. I was frightened by the girl who was rumoured to have a witch as a mum and scared of the boys who found it funny to run at me and shout 'boo' in my face to make me cry. I can remember the panic of watching the window getting darker and darker,  thinking it was late but I wasn't in bed? (winter evenings).

Then as I reached four and half my dad decided to sell his business. 

He brought  a Peuoght 505 estate, we travelled the country saying good bye to people and moved  into the hub of church life in a busy five storey victorian house. The house was in yet another foreign world (the middle of Toxteth Liverpool). 

For a few months my sisters  and I were put into a school full of more kids than we had ever seen.
Dad packed up two containers with tractors, wood work machinery and the newly brought car.
We said more goodbyes and were prayed for and we got on a plane.

Overnight (the length of the plane journey) our worlds changed completely and utterly forever. We woke  to a world that we niether recognised and I never made peace with. We had landed in the newly independant Zimbabwe. We were going to be missionaries!

To be continued......