So many journeys happen here at Embercombe. There is the programme called the Journey, but everybody who comes here either travels a journey or the seed of a journey is planted while they’re here, and these past two weeks have been very full in this way.

I’m loving the woods at the moment, the colours of autumn still astound me here, I seem to be much more aware of them this year. Entry to the wood is marked by brambles and bracken, lime, lemon, green, bronze and brown.  Squishy mud underneath with toe first heal last meeting it as I track my surroundings slowly. A crow, loud enough for me to hear. Some sky canopy overhead.  Heavy rain in the night but some blue sky now, squelchy ground, glistening moist understory.  Lychen on twiggy hawthorn, sage green.  Coppiced hazel with half its leaves dropped, the remaining limes and lemons look like a firework against copper beach, some just turning, green and yellow, others yellow, gold, copper, bronze. There are still some rich deep greens in contrast, ivy, holly, moss and some of the bracken. The whole wood a firework display.

Deeply silent. I get my hearing aids in December, maybe I’ll hear birdsong then. I heard the birds in the summer when there were more of them. I’ve been losing my hearing for the last 10 years, everyone at Embercombe has been very patient with me as I travelled the journey from denial to acceptance. Freedom is so important to me I was determined not to need them, but they’ll open up a world to me.

The Journey programme ended last week, the participants faces looked as though they had lost 10 years, they were glowing, just like the wood. This week Kids Company are with us.  I didn’t know this organisation existed, the work it does is so special, they provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children. I made pizzas with them one day, they held the whole thing with Embercombe people supporting where they directed us.  The pizza evening was a real success, as was the whole week.  They go today and continue their journeys back in London. I know every single person here will miss their presence.

When groups come here the learning is always both ways. The Young Leaders Programme (YLP) was also here this week, it was great to catch up with the participants and to find out how their journeys are unfolding, there is always progress.  This programme carries out deep work and I am privilaged to have been a part of it.