Friday, May 25, 2012


Our last completely free day is almost over.

I spent the day in Hampstead with Hillary, Abby, Taylor, Caroline, and Brittany. First, we found a cute cafe with a cute waiter. Ok, I didn't think he was that cute, but the other girls drooled over him. The cafe was called Ginger and White, and it served all kinds of cakes and muffins and pastries. Caroline and I shared one of my favorites: pumpkin cake with vanilla frosting. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for anything pumpkin.

Yep, that's him. "Hey Brittany, smile... move your head a little to the left.... perfect."

Welcome to Hampstead.
We walked around and around the little town, following directions from the "London Walks" book which educated us about several places along the way. We stopped at a very old-looking cemetery that would've freaked me out in the dark, but during the day it was bursting with long green grass, tall trees, vines, and bright flowers.

By and large, the greatest visit of the day was to Parliament Hill. To get there, we walked at least a couple of miles through a large forested area, stopping to enjoy several pretty areas along the way. Once we finally reached it, the view quite literally took my breath away. There on top of that hill, I could see the entire city of London, though it seemed to go on forever. I wish I could've captured it through a camera, but the pictures just don't suffice. The six of us spread ourselves across the hill and each took some time to digest the world around us. I took out my journal and began to write. I wrote the lyrics to "For the Beauty of the Earth," because the song was all too fitting for the way I was feeling. "For the beauty of each hour, of the day and of the night; hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light. Lord of all, to thee (I) raise this (my) joyful hymn of praise..." As I sat there in that tall grass, I thought about the concept of beauty. Here's a snippet of the journal entry:

"...During moments like these, I thank my God for allowing me this time on earth. It's a challenging life on earth, no matter who you are; it can be very discouraging at times. I believe that that's why God created scenery like this. That is why God created beauty. Beautiful landscapes, beautiful art, beautiful people, beautiful moments. It's beauty that helps us through the ugly and keeps us close to our Maker. It lets us know that He's always right there, keeping watch of his precious creations. It brings happiness, and has a way of broadening perspectives. What would we do without it? Would a life without beauty be any life at all?"


London in background.

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