Hiraeth-NaNoPoBlano Day 3

Hiraeth is a Welsh word for homesickness or nostalgia, an earnest longing or desire, or a sense of regret. The feeling of longing for a home that never was. A deep and irrational bond felt with a time, era, place or person. -Wikipedia

This vague nostalgia, this homesickness for a place I’ve never been has been with me my entire life, though I never had a word for it. I learned the word Hiraeth 5 years ago while watching a documentary about Gloria Vanderbilt, a woman who wanted for nothing materially but did want for everything emotionally. She’d painted a melancholy nature scene and entitled it Hiraeth. When she explained the meaning of the word, I was stunned! There was someone else on the planet who actually felt this too?


For me, it happens more on warm, rainy days… When the air is damp and calm. If I happen to be sitting near the lake, the feeling is amplified. When I ask myself what I am homesick for, I have no answer. But it’s a place or a time that exists in my heart, if not in my head. I know it’s there. I feel it deep within my soul. It’s been with me always…


Perhaps it’s past life memory that exists just below consciousness. Maybe it’s parallel life reaching out and reaching across to connect… To bring the pieces of the whole back together. It could be genetic memory, passed down from ancestors hoping to live on through me…


Or maybe, just maybe, it’s my unknown paternal lineage reaching forward trying to be known… Trying to say “we see you!”

Please visit my fellow NaNoPoBlano Challenge bloggers here: https://wordpress.com/tag/nanopoblano2020

17 thoughts on “Hiraeth-NaNoPoBlano Day 3

  1. I find this fascinating as I have had a very similar experience since I was about 10-12 on up that I was from England and even that my name was Alice. Later I became obsessed with the subject of reincarnation, past life regressions and the like. 😚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This makes me think of how young children will sometimes tell stories that sounds like they maybe lived a past life. Seems like maybe some of us retain some of that! I don’t think I believe in reincarnation, but who am I to say, you know? Fascinating to think about. I will have to remember to read more about genetic memory at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhhhh i’ve never heard that word before! Thank you for sharing it!… Isn’t it wonderful when you finally have a word for something that has always been a vague feeling? Once you can name it, it is no longer vague!
      Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. …and Sehnsucht in German is also quite similar. It roughly translates to longing, yearning, deeply missing something, or nostalgia. Often it’s about a homeland. CS Lewis described Sehnsucht as an insatiable or inconsolable longing in the human heart for “we know not what.”

      I’ve written about that one before. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. English is a criminal that mugs other languages, and shakes out their pockets for a shiny word or phrase to use for itself. You haven’t found an English word for that sensation because English isn’t done stealing the good words from other languages.

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s