January 12 2007
The Physicians of Myddfai
It was another spring morning and the farmer of Blaensawdde was watching his flocks on the shores of Llyn-y-Fan Fach on the slopes of the Black Mountain.
As the first rays of sunlight hit the shimmering waters there was a strange rippling on the surface of the lake and then he saw, sitting on a small rock the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The farmer gave his heart ..... he could think of only to share his barley bread but with a smile she refused
Cras dy fara Hard baked is thy bread
Nid hawdd fy nala It is not easy to catch me
With that there came a gentle breeze and as the waters on the lake rippled the sun glinted. For a moment he was blinded and as he looked again there was no rock and no maiden....
Twice more he came to the lake and twice more he was refused in the same manner. The third time he waited all day until the day cooled as the sun dropped from the western sky.... One by one the stars appeared mirrored on the lake ..... he felt despair.. with a sigh he threw the bread onto the water.
" I have no gold, silver or riches to offer thee, just the bread grown by my own hands from the rich earth. It is all I have to offer , save myself which is yours forever".
and threw the last bit of bread into the water as the moon rose over the mountain tops and laid a cold light over the broken waters.
He turned to give one last look and there standing on the lakeside was the lady of Llyn-y- Fan
laughing gaily.... " Truly I will have you for you offer as much s any true man many. But, beware, if you strike me three causeless blows no matter how gentle I will return to the lake and never more be with you..."
They were married and three sons were born...........sadly, three causeless blows were struck by the husband on three occasions which on the last occasion the faerie lady returned to the lake from whence she came. Their sons grew strong and wise and it was the fairy blood still flowed through their veins for they succeeded in all that they turned their hands to. It is said that had they chosen they could have become the richest and most powerful men in all Wales, but they had other purposes and turned instead to healing. Maybe it was the fairy blood within them, and maybe their mother visited oft-times to give them advice, for their herbs and remedies were renowned. They were the first of a long line of physicians.
excerpts from Lancaster University Alan Dix
edited by Janita Haan Morris
sourced from Myths & Legends of Wales by Tony Roberts
Welsh Legends and Folk Tales by Gwen Jones
note: The 14th century manuscripts that survive show the physicians access to European medical writing of their day as well as their sophisticated use of plant medicines.
- Natural Perfume, Music and Embroidery this Trinity weave through my life. They support and give each other inspiration. It is my lifes work and profession. I think about Natural Perfume everyday. It is my reason d'etre. It brings joy, fulfills my soul. Creating beautiful perfumes from flowers, fruits and resins is superlunary. I am besotted, obsessed, deeply in love.