I am packing my belongings in the shawl my mother used to wear when she went to the market. And I am going from my valley. But this time I shall never return. I am leaving behind me my 50 years of memory—memory. Strange that the mind will forget so much of what only this moment has passed and yet hold clear and bright the memory of what happened years ago of men and women long since dead. Yet who shall say what is real and what is not. Can I believe this all gone when their voices are still a glory in my ears. No. And I will stand to say no and no again, for they remain within my mind. There is no fence nor hedge around time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can go close my eyes on my valley as it is today and it is gone. And I see it as it was when I was a boy—green it was and possessed of the plenty of the earth. In all Wales there was none so beautiful.
Philip Dunne (1908–1992), U.S. screenwriter, and John Ford. Voiceover narration (by Rhys Williams) of Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowall) as an adult, How Green Was My Valley, reminiscing about his childhood and reflecting on the power of memory, at the opening of the film (1941).