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Last Steps

The Dusk of our Journey

I am sweating like crazy, drops rolling down my body. When we all decided to take a rest at the coast after the open week, I really didn't imagine this! We are walking up hill for an hour now, in the intense heat before the storm. It is almost as heavy as my backpack, stuffed with delicious food!

After we put up our tents, we all took a narrow path down to the beach, flying now without the weight of our packs. The picture in front of us is magical: enormous lightning breaks through the sky and the deep, calm sea is endlessly meeting the shore. I see us reflected in its waves, endlessly setting up camp to break it again the next day.

After 4 days of conversations, endless breakfast turning into lunch, long walks along the coast, writing applications for YIP and emailing an anxious family, we all gather again to revisit our intention. What is nice about the format of Classroom Alive, is that because we create it, we can re-shape it any time it's needed.

A few people left the group and stayed at the coast to finish important work; with a small group of 10, we head towards the Hungarian border. On our way, we decided to list all the conversations, workshops and study groups that we still want to see happen. After this, a conversation about love was held and Tim presented to us his study of "Philosophy of Freedom" by Rudolf Steiner. Daina taught jazz dance to 3 brave individuals and afterwards a small performance was held. Felix introduced us to the "mapping conversation" principle he is working on and Sarah and many others sat around discussing and practicing Yoga. After dinner or lunch we would have an "intellectual dessert": a little something to stimulate the mind and heart, a small presentation of no more than 15 mins.

We are getting deeper into the countryside of Hungary and as we follow a path through some fields, we meet Bo. He kindly welcomes us to stay with him; "but be careful" he says, "I have two ox's. One is really dangerous and the other is really nice - I will show you which one is which!" As we arrive to his camp, down by the small Zala river, a huge white ox appears. It's name is Bürök, one of the ox's that pulls Bo's self-made wooden wagon. Bürök was really badly treated before Bo took him in and now Bo is the only person that can approach him.

As we are putting our tent up, Borsó ( Bo's second ox) arrives followed by Szurabi (he aslo has a cow and her calf Pirike). They are walking freely around the camp and what a picture, this huge ox walking between the tents, sniffing.

The non-judgmental attitude and the strong willingness to shares his stories makes Bo a really inspiring person to be around. We all felt welcome to be ourselves and do what feels right to us. The fresh milk of his cow was generously shared among us and we sat many hours around the fire, listening to his stories. On the third day we had a check-in to hear how everyone is doing and Bo joined us. Not only did he listen but he also opened his vulnerable heart and shared his story with us.

It's with a bit of sadness that we pack again to leave Bo's place, but the excitement rises again as we put our backpacks in a wooden trolley pulled by Borsó in the direction of the train station.
After hugs and songs the train is announced, and Bo gives us his last treasure: "As a traveler, I have seen more than I can remember, and I can remember more than I've seen"

Then the train arrives and what a surprise! Our three missing members are in there, without us even planning it! As some of us are cheering and starting to share stories, a few of us are in tears, deeply moved by Bo and a bit overwhelmed by this quick transition.

Now we are walking towards the end of our journey and we start to have "the last...". We are at our last camp before Budapest, in the forest by a spring and there we start to reflect back on the journey. And it is in the middle of this process that the cycling Classroom Alive (from Budapest to Porto) joins us! What a joy to meet and how beautiful it is to see: they are just starting and we are finishing. In a very symbolic way, we sat the next day together, letting them witness part of our reflection: feedback on the whole project. Then, in a really sacred ceremony, we passed them on our Crocodiles : plastic handles to grab the hot pot from the fire. They are safe now and can go on on their journey !

Then we walked for the last time, from our woodland spring to Alsoors train station, to finally reach Budapest! What a beautiful city to finish this journey. Following the advice of the other Classroom Alive team, we camped where they camped, up a hill in the woods with a fires place, a little way out of town.

The next and last morning was used to close our journey. We decided to close by holding an appreciation circle for the last time. For almost 5 hours, one after another we stepped in the circle to lay down or sit, and let the others shower us with their love and share what they've seen in us, to speak out our beauty and gifts.

One last picture and this is it. We have been travelling together for 2 month, some only one month, some are not here anymore... we all feel full and transformed. None of us could have expected how this journey would turn out to be and this is the magic of living this way: never knowing where you will end up at the end of the day.

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