My soul sings when I see the reds and golds and russets of deciduous trees. All that dying to the old life to await the new. English gardens and woods are gorgeous with splashes of colour like this maple in the grounds of Emerson College. The storytelling course I am helping on in East Sussex is full of opportunities to explore transformation. So many stories celebrate the metamorphosis of a character after a trial. They offer us examples of the kind of courage we must find to allow ourselves the vulnerability and joy of true change.

At the moment the students are working with wonder tales, those ‘fairy tales’ from all kinds of traditions. In  metaphors we can celebrate the union of different parts of ourselves–the king’s sons and queen’s daughters–after their journeys and struggles. We also feel a kind of horrified delight when the parts that no longer serve us, the false brides and wicked stepmothers, die ugly deaths.

Great mysteries lie in these seemingly simple tales of transformation. I notice as reluctant parts of me don’t wish to give up their glory, or  scared parts seek to avoid the journey into the dark woods. I yearn to let the wiser part of me encourage myself: come on, step off the edge of comfort and find the new path. Maybe the first steps will be fringed with scarlet beauty!