Friday, 11 December 2015

Cader Idris

Looming over the Dovey Estuary was the impressive mountain of Cader Idris: the Chair of Idris.
Idris, he was a great giant. Every night he would go up the mountain and use his chair to gaze on the stars.

I remember my father telling me of climbing Cader Idris by the vertiginous Fox’s Path. I guess this may have been in the last months before the Second World War. He told me of the old man who every day ascended the mountain from Dolgellau with a pony carrying lemonade, and so was able to charge thirsty mountaineers like my father a high price for their refreshment. My father had hurried up and down, pausing only for one swift lemonade. He was not worried about the price, or even the giant Idris. I remembered my father saying: “To spend a night on the summit of Cader, is to return either a poet or a madman.” Father, not prepared to take the chance, had returned before nightfall, and consequently claimed to be neither. But Taliesin too had been drawn to the mountain. So was I, and later in life I spent many nights with Idris.

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