It has been a privilege to engage with the families of missing people through the workshops I have been delivering on behalf of the Charity. It has been a pleasure to get out of London. It reminds me that whilst I love living in the big smoke, I also adore getting out. I feel myself expanding, and breathing more deeply when surrounded by trees and fields. I remember speaking to a friend who spent several winters abroad, working in ski resorts. She was troubled by the landscape, and I struggled to understand her complaint. She spoke of missing the sky.
I now appreciate what it is that she was referring to. In some respects a ski resort has more in common with a big city than one might immediately recognise. The mountains protrude and dominate, crowding the horizon. Escaping to North Somerset recently, this conversation which took place at altitude some time ago returned to me - I derive enormous comfort when I can see a vast expanse of sky. Standing beneath it reminds me of my relative insignificance, and this realisation brings with it such reassurance - all is well.
Having admired a plethora of hot air balloons on the way down, as we drove back to London (almost via Birmingham, as I rather un-mindfully followed the M5 further than the SatNav would have advised, had I switched it on!) a colleague revealed a favourite pastime of her own - kite flying. She described the tremendously liberating sense she connects with whilst flying kites (preferably, but not exclusively, on beaches) - grounded, but lifted.