Monday, 18 October 2010

A breath of fresh air

One of the places that I will miss when we leave London is Hampstead Heath. An oasis of open space and woodland that draws tourists and locals alike for a break from the big smoke. I'm not going to pretend that it was a regular haunt or that I was a loyal and frequent visitor but it is a place that holds many fond memories. My husband and I walked through the heath on our first date, I trained for my first 10k run on the pebbly tracks and had my first open water swim in the ladies pond.  Like thousands of others, I've flown a kite on Parliament Hill and enjoyed many picnics in the grasslands.

Yesterday was a surprisingly bright and crisp autumn day and so we wrapped the children up warm and headed over to the heath for a breath of fresh air. The words of Roger Taber sum up beautifully how a few hours spent walking through the woodland and along by the ponds can restore the city dweller's soul:

On Hampstead Heath by Roger Taber

Glittering pools of light
among acres of grass,
swans in graceful flight

Crest to climb, fly a kite
on a city made of glass;
glittering pools of light

Ducks a common sight,
geese making room to pass,
swans in graceful flight

Trees voicing nature's right
to co-exist in peace;
glittering pools of light

Though dog owners bite
and parents fuss
swans in graceful flight

Of leafy going-ons at night,
it but whispers...
Glittering pools of light
swans in graceful flight.

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