I feel for them, all of them. Houses were swept away, they say. I cannot imagine the pain of it. To lose so much. I hope that they find kindness, and some solace. And they will recover. And then there was more (after weeping over Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge) when I listened to Fergal Keane’s beautiful writing on FOOC. He writes with such clarity and such compassion. He quoted W H Auden, I forget the poem, something about ‘We had a Country….’ He spoke about refugees and how they don’t leave their lands because they want to, but because they have to. It is there home, after all, where they were born, where their families live or are buried. So much loss. Is it not the same? That same pain of being dispossessed. My heart bleeds for them. All of them. And for my sister-in-law, her voice all slurry from sedatives, or the fall, we do not know. She sounded lost too. She wants to be home where she is safe (though perhaps no longer so) and with her husband.

What can I do?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.