My earliest recall of a past life to date began in about 1520 or so in South Wales, in what’s now part of the UK. I have no recall of my mother or father. I lived with my uncle but I was told my mother was unable to care for me. I recall vaguely meeting her once. She was with an old man that I assumed to be my father but I have no way of knowing. My Uncle was a good father and accepted me without any trouble at all. My stepmother, who raised sheep, goats, chickens, dogs, and occasional other animals, also accepted me openly and without any apparent prejudice. Although I do recall her to some degree, I remember my uncle most. He is the one that was my primary parent. He was a broadsword fanatic and had learned a bit about metallurgy, which he taught me as well and claimed it came from a previous life. I recall being very young, watching him practice with his sword out back of the house near the horse corral. I was mimicking him and he seemed to think it was cute. From that day forward he began teaching me everything he knew about making and wielding a sword.
Contrary to what I thought at the time and had learned from others, he taught me the sword was only a defensive weapon. It could not be used effectively to attack someone without dropping your guard and in a real fight, that means risking death. A broadsword is about 2.5 inches wide and just under a meter long for the average person. Each person needs to either find or make one to fit his body, his reach and his strength. “If you need to attack someone, use an arrow” I recall him saying. He taught me first using words and philosophy rather than show and do. Then when we practiced he’d tell me, then show me where I was leaving myself open to attack and how to prevent giving someone an opening. He taught and reminded me to think with my feelings, not a voice in my head.
I recall pounding iron in the shed out back of the house. I recall conversations about tempering iron using water or oil and making horseshoes. We made a lot of horseshoes. I recall how the height of the horses hoof was a good measure of how well it was being cared for. If the hoof was short, it was an indicator the hoof had been shaved too often or the shoes had been improperly fitted. The nails used to fit the shoe had to be just the right length or they caused an infection in the hoof which hobbled the horse for up to a year at a time. He taught me to value life by showing me the value of my own life. I recall cleaning hoofs and fitting shoes on horses of all sizes including some Royal Arabians that stood over 22 hands tall, maybe more. We had a corral out back where we kept several horses, as did nearly everyone those days. The back fence was short so the mares could jump over it. It gave them the opportunity to come and go as they pleased, and they did. We almost never saw the father of her colts. But we knew she knew and we knew she cared for them, deeply. She also cared for us or she never would have come back over the fence. I recall them being all mares in the pen. Older colts and the free stallions weren’t kept in the pen. They were either sold or traded, but they were free to come and go as they pleased. Some lived with us as yard bucks.
As I got older I learned to use a sword well enough to be paid for my services. I found work with the “Crown of South Wales” as a guardhouse watchman. A job I worked until just before my death at about the age of 63 or so. I didn’t feel all that old but my body didn’t like the abuse it has been through. Life was very labor intensive then and it showed in the life spans of the people. My initial job was guarding property being transported from place to place. We had a storehouse about 4 miles from my home where I began working. In just a few months I earned a good reputation and when one of the other guards was found to be grossly dishonest, I was given his job and his pay. I was paid in coin, which was unusual for that day. Most people traded goods and services or goods for other goods and services. So we lived on the “coin”, making us a topic of some conversation at times.
I recall being married as well. My wife’s father, who was somewhat well off, didn’t like me much. But we were in love and although he objected greatly, we got married anyway. We build a single room cabin on the edge of a small spring lake. It had an outlet but no inlet, as was somewhat common in the area, being near some larger mountains. Probably near Cardif or further south near the coast. After we married we had two daughters, Leah and Rachel. I don’t recall my wife’s name or the name of my uncle but I do recall the names of my daughters. They were an odd pair and fought often. Leah was always thinking of new ways to kill her sister.
When the girls were in their early teens my wife became ill. It started with stomach pains that increased over several months until she finally died. I suspect it was cervical cancer but there’s no way of knowing. She was in great pain before passing and I recall giving her some form of medicine that helped ease the pain but made her incoherent.
After her death we were all completely devastated. The girls without a mother, I without a wife and life seemed empty for a long while. I was frightened of how I was going to care for teenage girls at first but then my wife began appearing in dreams. She told me about soaps to help with their hair, female issues that had to be addressed, and helped me deal with their mental health as well. She talked me through their fighting with each other and helped me to be honest with them about her death. She even told me where she had hidden some special soap her father had given her, so I knew it was real and that it was her. She validated her presence in other ways as well. I missed her more than I recall having ever missed anyone before. I recall a kind of moment when myself, Leah and Rachel were all in the house trying to avoid conversation about her death. Something happened and one of those honest moments passed and we all took advantage of it, possibly with a push from her on the other side. We talked about how it felt and for the first time ever the two girls got along with each other. That moment proved important in later years when they both married and moved away. They eventually made peace with each other as I learned just before my death.
Eventually the pain eased and I was able to get back to life. I recall helping my uncle clean his barn as he got older. He was an inventor of sorts and talked about having had past lives himself. He had an idea for helping keep the barn slop (liquid from the horses, rain, rotting hay and other stuff) from becoming dangerously wet. If it got too wet it generated heat and could erupt in fire. He tested the conditions in an old pile in the back of his house and perfected a drain trench that when down the side of the barn to allow the moisture to get out of the barn. It worked, even if it was a bugger getting in and out of the barn. I recall one occasion specifically when he hadn’t asked for help and I knew he was too old to do a good job. I kept meaning to go over and shovel the crap out of the barn but I put it off. Finally on some holiday visit I found a pile of horse shit and rotten hay in the barn that was outrageous and I got really angry. I spent the entire visit shoveling shit out of the barn. I clearly recall naming each shovel of the stuff as I fumed for nearly an entire day. As the work progressed my anger subsided and I realized it was me that had been shirking responsibility, not him. He had told me it was out of control and I hadn’t heard him. It was a milestone in my life, the culmination of a process that taught me the value of being honest with myself.
I had a nearly lifelong friend that I recall as well. She was a donkey and if she had been allowed, she would have slept with me. I rode her to work every day, fed her apples, flowers and other good donkey things, and when she got restless and someone needed help, she volunteered her services. She would actually wander around when people came to pick things up or drop them off and nudge me, asking if she was needed. She lived with us till the day of her death and was my best friend second to no one. I had a horse for a while that I loved as well but I traded her to a happier life and found another donkey.
I even recall the day I died, Leah and Rachel were due for a visit but I wasn’t expecting them for a day or two. I had business in town so I was out early. I came home and they were cleaning the house, washing dishes, making dinner and talking to and with each other with respect. I don’t recall the dinner at all but I do recall how important it seemed to them that they visit. I passed away that evening with my two daughters by my side, peaceful.
Tidbits of recall from a life long since lived.
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