I’ve remarked previously how since moving to London I’ve missed the sunshine and beach like crazy. And whilst that’s still very true, upon further reflection I think what this urge really stems from is a desire for escape: escape from the inherent claustrophobia of the city. Upon visiting Hampstead Heath this past weekend, I’m now more sure than ever that what my soul regularly needs to be happy and content is open space and fresh air.
When I think about it, it makes sense: I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. If you walk five or ten minutes in any direction from my house, you’ll hit a park, the bush and/or some sort of wildlife. It’s a green, picturesque part of the world and looking back now, I realise that it was quite a magical place to grow up in despite its suburban location.
So as I wandered through Hampstead Heath for the first time on Sunday, hiking up the rolling hills in the sunshine, taking endless photos of pretty autumn leaves and hunting for fairies in the shrubbery, I really felt a bit overwhelmed with nostaglia in the best possible way – not to mention in awe of the fact that such a beautiful place is tucked away in North London!
I was also quite overcome with the desire to make like a child and roll myself down one of the expansive green hills, but maturity (and fear of ruining my coat in the mud) got the best of me. I suppose there’s always next time.