Saas-Fee, what to say? For three intense weeks, I called you home. After waking to the sound of cow bells each day, I got ready to step out into the crisp morning mountain air. Making my way down to breakfast, I strolled alongside the fields of wildflowers, gazing at the 360° alpine view, I was filled with a sense of freshness and awe. The hills of Saas-Fee certainly are alive!
Most mornings I was excited and energized, eagerly awaiting the offerings of the day. But there were also days when weariness took over my body and mind. Slowly sipping coffee with my classmates, we would try to delay the day’s happenings. But, no matter how tired I felt, once I was back up the hill and settled into the EGS classroom, it was easy to remember why I came.
At EGS, students from six continents sunk into a common ground. As individuals, we came into contact with one another, not colliding but joining together in ensembles. Sometimes moving slowly, and sometimes quickly, we looked to fill the spaces in the room. We noticed the air as we moved through it, contemplating its capacity to hold and connect us all.
We looked at ourselves alone and together. Noting that we live in the context of our cultures and our times, we saw how our social identities shift, intersect, and layer upon us. We located ourselves in our particular social worlds and identified what has worth to us, recognizing where we would like to move in closer and where we would rather drift out to the periphery.
Acknowledging the support and mutuality between us, we felt safe, witnessed, and validated. In the holding of others, we found the freedom to unfold, to become ourselves in the eyes of the others.
As we dropped into our senses, we were ready to step from one state of being to the next. We expanded our range of play and used the creative experience to reawaken a sense of wonder. We let surprises, possibilities, and new qualities emerge through our dialogue with the arts. While held in our frame, we were able to transition safely; leaving the old understandings of ourselves behind and experiencing another side of ourselves; allowing this new knowing to come into being.
Through leading, following, and shaping, we became fluid and crystallized. In a state of learning and unlearning we were encouraged to always ask questions. To remember to keep asking, even when there are no answers, knowing that the tools for our learning are in the lived experience and how each of us receives, responds, and communicates it.
As we noticed what attracted us, we saw the magic in the ordinary. Making our experience sacred through ritual, we took nothing for granted and reflected on our responsibility of how we act and live in this world; aiming for a world of inclusion, where together we scoop hope and create beauty.
I am eager to integrate all that was shared over those three weeks in Saas-Fee. I feel endless gratitude for this Swiss mountain town and the space it holds for the work we do. A place where the conditions are just right so that the students of EGS can become ripe for the harvest.
Photo: Michelle Leela Grace