This post was originally published on 21st October 2018 and updated on 23rd August 2020
My mind has been all over the place this week. I’ve been struggling to write, starting a number of blog posts but unable to find the right words to finish them.
I was relieved to have some alone time this weekend. I needed some space and some time to think, reflect and to soak up the late October sunshine.
I headed to the local market yesterday thinking I would stop by to look for some upcoming birthday presents. The market was celebrating its own birthday and was busier than normal. It definitely wasn’t the right environment to find some head space.
So in search of some peace and quiet, I picked up a quick bite to eat from the market and headed off to Clapham Common. The weather was beautiful. Sunny, but with an autumnal nip in the air. I found myself a big old tree and spread out underneath it, soaking up the rays and enjoying my market grub. It was just the right environment for some thinking time.
With my head feeling a little clearer, I had a pootle around a few shops before heading home for a quiet, relaxing evening.
Today I woke up feeling a bit more adventurous. Considering I hadn’t slept well, this was nothing short of a miracle. I started to look at my London bucket list. I wanted to go somewhere that would look beautiful in the October sun, but somewhere I hadn’t been before. Nothing on my bucket list took my fancy, so I started to flick through Instagram and found a saved link to Holland Park. I’d wanted to go for some time but kept forgetting to add it to my bucket list. As I looked at the warm sunshine outside, I realised it would be a perfect day to go.
My only disappointment…why on earth hadn’t I been before?
It was beautiful.
As soon as I entered the park (there are a couple of entrances, but I entered from the entrance nearest to Holland Park underground station), it took my breath away.
The park entrance is walled, and as you walk through the gate, its like stepping into another world.
As I walked further into the park, the scene became more and more autumnal. The Acer’s almost stole the show, until I stumbled across the Kyoto Garden, which quite simply took my breath away. I’ve never felt the urge to visit Japan, but if their gardens are anything like the one here in Holland Park, then Japan is also now firmly on my bucket list. The colours were spectacular, and despite the large number of tourists trying to get that perfect Instagram shot, it was surprisingly peaceful.
The Kyoto Garden was gifted to London from the Japanese city of Kyoto in 1991 following a long standing friendship between Japan and Great Britain.
As I sauntered back to the underground, a couple of hours later, my mind felt much calmer and more peaceful than it had earlier on in the weekend.
As I get older, I’m so grateful to have a much better understanding of my mind. I’m much more in tune with it these days, knowing when I need to take time out, reducing the chaos around me, and simply just being.
As I sit in my front room enjoying the last of the days light, I know I can now move into the working week with a clearer, calmer mind. The issues causing my mind to be muddled haven’t gone away, but with a peaceful mind, these issues don’t seem anywhere near as daunting as they did.
(Photos taken by me)