Picture source: free-city-guides.com
When I was younger I read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and the story of Miep Gies who helped to hide the Frank family et al. I was in awe of this young girl who yearned and ached to go outside; yearned and ached to be free.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit The Anne Frank House and Museum in Amsterdam. From the minute I stepped through that concealed entrance and walked up the steps into ‘The Annex’, I was walking in her proverbial shoes (and of the other people she hid with).
I saw where she had lived, saw where she had slept, felt the atmosphere still lingering, looked out of the high window and saw the same bell tower that Anne Frank had seen.
I was humbled. I was intrigued. I was sad. I was claustrophobic. I was privileged to experience ‘The Annex’ (though not in the same way, thankfully). I unashamedly shed a tear. And as our tour came to an end, I walked back down the stairs, back through the concealed entrance, back out of the museum. I walked back outside. I was free.
I was free to take in a lungful of fresh air. I will try to never take the outdoors for granted again.