By Jo Ridley – former Education Manager at Embercombe
I have always been fascinated by our infinite human potential and capacity to transform.
In early 2014, this passion took me to Embercombe in Devon. My memories of those first few months and the subsequent 4-year relationship with Embercombe and all the people that flow through her are numerous and magical.
We were walking around the gardens in groups of 3. My senses are heightened, my heart full and light. I have my arms wrapped around two friends, one on my left and the other to my right. My eyes are shut, and I am being led barefoot in the early evening dew. I am sharing all the things I feel grateful for while being taken on an invisible journey through the early evening.
I lived on site for almost 2 years. From my new home on the Isle of Wight, I realise I am grateful for so much. I am grateful for how Embercombe has shown me a new way to be in relationship with nature. A relationship that is inspired by indigenous teaching and rooted in deep nature connection. I am thankful for the nights I spent sleeping in the woods, surrounded by the warm embrace of the oak trees. I am grateful for having been given the responsibility and honour of leading and working with diverse groups of children, young people and adults connecting them back to themselves, their gifts, each other and our natural world. I am grateful for the abundant meals harvested from the gardens that I shared with friends around strong oak seats harvested from the woods. I am grateful for the fires, music, dancing and courageous and vulnerable sharing between work colleagues and friends.
the best way for people to change what they believe to be possible for themselves and the world is to feel safe as part of a community…
And I am most grateful to have learnt what it means to create transformational experiences for people. That the best way for people to change what they believe to be possible for themselves and the world is to feel safe as part of a community, whether it be permanent or transient. To create a space where people can have vulnerable and honest conversations, have adventures, celebrate and play. Where there are opportunities to feel part of a larger narrative and be given opportunities to give back and create a legacy. All of these things allow us to feel safe enough to dive deep and examine and upgrade beliefs around what we feel is possible for ourselves and the planet.
Thank you Embercombe