Dear Inner Circle,

I returned refreshed from a lovely little break. For those of you who live in a city and are allowed to leave its limits, I recommend you do so. How easy it is for city folk to forget about the night sky, full of stars, patiently waiting for us to pause to say, “Wow”. We tend to make ourselves the measure of all things and it’s weirdly liberating to ponder the size of space and the mystery of our existence. The breathtaking Capertee Valley served as a great reminder to my ego of just how small it is, what a gift!

I returned refreshed, sadly to be greeted with the news that a beautiful woman we love had sadly died from an overdose. Loving someone with an addiction always carries this risk but I confess I never seem to be prepared for the shock of death, no matter how many times it visits me. She was a lively character, who not long ago when arrested for a tiny amount of drugs in her possession swore to the police they weren’t hers. “Listen officer, it must have been sewn into the hem of the jacket that I was given from Wayside!” Let me assure you that this was certainly not the case, but full marks for creativity. We are going to miss her dearly.

Some of you may know that Long Walk Home, our virtual fundraising event, is fast approaching with only a week and a half left until it starts! I’m delighted that so far over 1,000 people have signed up to walk 28km in 7 days between 26 October to 1 November to raise money for Wayside Chapel so that we can continue to help people experiencing homelessness. One of those participants is Josh Peachey, who has been seeking Wayside Chapel’s support for the last twenty years. For those who walked last year, you may remember Josh as the person who blew the horn to start the walk, and was there to greet you at the end (if you made it!). Josh has experienced homelessness on and off many times in his life. He plans to give back to Wayside by walking in this year’s Long Walk Home. If you can, I encourage you to support him by donating to his page or sign up to do the walk yourself at www.longwalkhome.com.au

Nearly 20 years ago, when Lisa and I were on honeymoon in Kolkata volunteering at Mother Teresa’s “Home for the Dying”, a little Bengali nun hobbled over to me and scolded me “You don’t speak Bengali, so make sure your every action speaks of love!” I had the distinct impression that I was being scolded at the time but on countless occasions since, I’ve been grateful to remember that most of my language comes without words.

Thanks for being a part of our amazing Inner Circle,

Jon

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