Heading for the hills

Today, as I ambulated aimlessly through the gentle green beneath the trees of Hampstead Heath, I reached the top of parliament hill. I sat there a while, with groups of friends and lovers joining the chirping birds. In that torrent of  tweets, and the nattering of ducks there was something special about that clearing at the top of the hill with all the birds and the bees. For you see I, like them, had left the loud wrecking lowland brick woodland of London and stick my head above the canopy, gasping for air and clarity.

But my tabernacle of spirituality was surrounded by a spectacle of absurdity, as I witnessed first hand a runner mid-jog, stop take a selfie with wide grin, type a quick comment, send it off and carry on running. He had reached the top and someone would be interested in it. As the endless arrivals of walkers reached the top, they all seemed to take a picture of the same view, horizon and angle, stored in their tiny devices. And I thought, yes, that is London and you were there. And perhaps every picture is a tiny moment of history which we can claim and record that we may have been the only person to have a record of that specific moment in time, and enjoy the modest addition to personal photo-libraries of other destinations, hilltops probably. And I would be hypocritical to think that the little poem I wrote while there is no less a childish attempt to want to do ‘something different’. But I made my eulogy to you Parliament hill, perhaps we can stick that one at the bottom of the fridge, behind that Snoopy strip, and under that magnet from that Castle I once went to. Etched in my mind are many of these places, as I carved and seared them into memory, perhaps I should unburden myself from them.

Today I ambulated aimlessly, and that was it. There was no aim, mostly confusion and misdirection. But I wonder, that awe and spiritual high of the hill came because I came from elsewhere, to another place. All this, because I live in a comfy hovel, slotted above two others, under 3, to the right of 5 and to the left of 1 other hovels and my sight does not look beyond  6 feet away onto a wall, and perhaps as far as 50 yards outside the window. It’s all that space maybe. Is the top of a hill that interesting for a prehistoric person in London? I feel that water spring, a grove with a few rocks, a cave would be more interesting places than the top of a friggin’ hill.

This was today, 21st June 2015, and this picture was ten years ago

View over central London from Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath, North London, the highest point around London.

  © Copyright Fan Yang and licensed for reuse under thisCreative Commons Licence