Today has been exhausting, but fulfilling, like most days here.

I have slipped away into my cabin despite my internal debate about everything wonderful happening outside. The sun is sneaking between trees and black roofs outside of my window as I try not to let my eyelids close for too long.

Two and a half weeks ago, I got off the ferry in Kolby Kas, marking the end of my fast paced travel through Europe and the beginning of my journey on Samsø. It took me a while to get used to the slow-paced island lifestyle.

It is difficult not to get lost in the landscape here as I ride my bike. There is something very calming about the rolling hills of the north and the open agricultural fields that sprawl across the horizon. Along the roads there is an abundance of farmstands where you can buy a wide variety of vegetables from the island. I have already gotten attached to the people, hummus from the local bakery, waking up to the morning dew, beer from Samsø Bryghus, and the three-minute showers from the campground.

The water here is warmer. The people seem to smile more. There are spiders everywhere. The food is perfect for picnics.

 

Before coming here I had lost a lot of hope. It is difficult to constantly see the waste, energy consumption, and lifestyle at home and still have hope for a renewable future. The conversations at home paint a very doomed picture of the future.

Here, they don’t teach as much of a gray future. Here, I believe that we can make change and it will make a difference. It is such a unique experience to be with so many people that believe in a sustainable future. I feel like we don’t dwell as much on the past, but start the conversation on how we can make a difference going forward.

There is a lightness in the air here. It might be that the wind is so strong that it never lets anything heavy or dense stay still. Time slips by so quickly. There is a natural rhythm.

It seems that everything is connected to the crops growing, the sun shining and the wind blowing. Everyone is soaking up the energy from the soil, and following the natural cycle and time of nature.

I am surprised every day at the small things that add unexpected value to my experience here. I would never have expected the realizations that Samsø would provide.

We talk about sustainable energy a lot, whether it is in our cabins or in a lecture. But, a lot of our time is spent discussing community, motivation, passion and collaboration. Marlene, Søren Hermansen’s wife, showed us a design that she draws inspiration from. She pressed two glass slides together with some kind of goop in between. She pressed her finger down on the middle of the slides and as she released it formed a recognizable design. This design was of blood lines and roots. To me it reminded me of the connections we are forming on this trip; how together in this journey we can spread our ideas and passions to make a difference in our communities. It reminded me of how we have to be aware of these connections, in order to continue to make progress. That without these connections we will not be able to get where we want to go.