The small islands in Lumenor’s oceans are often special places to the Order of Lumen. I name them in Welsh to make them stand out, to endow them with an air of mystery, musicality and magical possibility. There is no old Celtic language now, so Welsh provides a modern alternative. I have asked native speakers for translation from English to Welsh wherever possible, or on occasions, used an online translator. I can see two islands from the balcony of my apartment, which sometimes seem to float in mist, especially at twilight or in the early morning. I have always felt drawn to the small islands in the oceans of the British Isles, they are magic in my own imagination.
The idea of a starry species called Lumerin and the Golden Lady Aurora came from a song called ‘Woodstock’ – written by Joni Mitchell. She recorded it on an album called Ladies of the Canyon (1969). It got into the charts when it was recorded by a band called Crosby Stills Nash and Young (1970). The chorus goes:
We are stardust
Because the song was recorded for the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival in the U.S.A. I saw my Lumenor legends into a 1960s setting. The first one around 1960, the second around 1963 and the final one 1969/70.
The Garden of Possibility
'The Garden of Possibility', the final instalment in the Legends of Lumenor trilogy, is due out soon.
I've had a great little birthday break in Snowdonia. Here is a landscape oozing myth and magic from every green vista, ancient woodland, dense pine forest, deep lake and sparkling waterfall. It's easy to see how the Welsh Bards of old might have been beguiled and inspired to tell stories and recite poetry. By Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid) I walked into the legend of Taliesin and the Cauldron of Ceridwen. In the beautiful village of Beddgelert (grave of Gelert) with its bubbling river and old grey stone, I did in fact find the grave of the faithful dog Gelert, mistakenly killed by his master Prince Llewellyn.
On the summit of Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) I read an evocative sign displayed on a wall suggesting I might be nearer to heaven in that place. Even though there was a substantial number of tourists and serious walkers, sitting on steps, taking photos or climbing up to the cairn at the very top, I felt a silence so all-encompassing that it seemed to have a tangible presence that neither human voice, footstep nor emotion could ever disturb. The lower peaks, deep valleys and lakes fell away below me and I had a sense of the Universe stretching out into infinity, beyond the vast skyscape above my head.
One of Snowdon's legends tells of a cave, well-hidden somewhere on the slopes, where Arthur's knights lie sleeping, awaiting the return of their king who will lead them out to save the land. I get a feeling of security. Tales old and new, speak to us in the symbolic language of the subconscious – they may impart wisdom, increase understanding, heal the heart, pass on knowledge, or simply entertain. They arise from landscapes like bright flames, lighting up the imagination of storytellers and poets whose craft helps to keep the souls of lands and people alive.
'The Garden of Possibility', the final instalment in the Legends Lumenor trilogy is due out soon.
Listen to the 'Come on In with Ceri Stennett' Radio Cardiff podcast to hear Iona Jenkins talk about her life, her career, the inspiration for her books and her latest release, The Starlit Door, Iona's interview starts at 1:08.
Tune in to the Ceri Stennett Show on Radio Cardiff (98.7 FM) this morning (22nd May) at 11:30 to hear Iona Jenkins talk about her writing life, her books and her latest release The Starlit Door.
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