The second April’s Saturday. The first one so sunny, so warm that we can expose most parts of our skin to the sun. Nine young people sit on the grass. Around a pile of wood that is slowly turning into stack of firewood that will heat us when sun rays won’t be strong enough. We spontaneously start singing the melody, beginning song of Lion King. We even make the neighbor who is cleaning the garden smile. United in the moment. The moment when only one thing is important – that each of us catches the rhytm of the song as much as he/she can (awimbawe awimbawe) … It feels like our playfulness is spreading on The Space. After the song the neighbor invites us for coffee.
What else can we find on The Space in this moment? An old farm house, that is turning into home after years of loneliness. Tents placed on two kozolec* that already became (temporary) homes. Toilet on the border of the forest that we would call in the old times ‘pit toilet’ but today we call it in a modern manner a compost toilet. An oven built from clay that is already heating and will excite us later in the day with delicious pizzas. Cracked boiler on the border of the field that was eaten by the time and winter and we won’t be able to call it ‘solar shower’ this season. Green house (yes, we also have a new name for it – geodesic dome) in which tiny plants are getting stronger and will be a source of our vegetables for the whole season. I will stop with counting all the physical things and move on to less tangible thing that we have in abundance – peace.
To describe this peace more thorougly I want to ask a question first. Why would someone exchange life in a house/a flat and the comfort of modern world for sleeping in a tent, peeing in the forest and cooking on an open fire? The answer is simple: because he/she is brave enough that he/she dares. The reasons for it are different: from providing basic existential needs that The Space is offering to searching for an answer “What is the thing that I am missing despite the education appropriate for the life in the city”? For all of that a small brainwave is needed. That the total freedom, that nowadays every individual is supposed to have, isn’t only the option of choice among endless amount of things (either on the shopping shelves, on the voting ticket, choosing free time activities, ….) Living here gives you opportunity to discover among the real options of choice.
My personal experience brought me from my Master’s degree in pharmacy to The Space where I respect more than the knowledge and successes of ‘modern man’ things like wisedom and generosity of Mother Nature. It also taught me that I was, for the big part of my life, going after goals that were ideals of environment I am living in and aren’t really my own. Only when I reached most of them the time came to start exploring my own. And that is the first thing The Space is serving to. Searching and exploring of yourself, individual, human … And at the same time our connection between us and nature.
We try to involve as much activities as we can in our days that helps us see that working on a farm aren’t just sweat and suffering as we might have heard multiple times. So we make our days interesting with cooking in 101 ways, planting flowers around trees, flying kite in the wind, divination from cards, artistic creating while cleaning old clutter, hanging out around the fire, … And a lot of time with seeming (non)working; when we are just sitting and discussing about everything possible and not possible.
I would lie if I said that all that is happening here are laugher and joy. On the way to our depths we hit a lot of obstacles, barriers, beliefs, … And all that comes to the surface even faster while living seemingly simple life. That means that for sure each of us has a thought from time to time: What the hell am I doing here if city, civilization and comfort of life I knew are around the corner. But soon after that you figure out that because of situations like this you treasure The Place even more, with all it’s imperfections. And that is the perfect opportunity to figure out (with support of others) that the limits are only fears in ourselves and are keeping us away from the endless potential each person is carrying in himself/herself.
I am returning to the peace that I mentioned on the beginning. Because that is the main contribution of The Space to create a better world. On the surface quietly, unnoticeably, calmly, away from the crazy everyday life. But with clear vision and finding that every battle, exploitation, greed, corruption … doesn’t begin with an organization neither is for it responsible the system. It all starts with each of us – a person.
And if you think that you already know perfect answer to the question – what it means to be human, let me tell you. There are endless answers. Every guest that stops at our place for a visit or longer camping opens new horizons. Maybe you will too one day?*kozolec – traditional Slovenian (mostly) wooden construction to store straw, give shelter to the animals etc.