Pajama breakfast, Basia’s radio playing cheesy easy listening, tea with honey. It’s great not not having to rush out the door but feel warm and snuggly for a bit, before we take to the streets of Poznan for the Global Day of Action which is taking place in a city near you! There’s a march beginning in Freedom Square – appropriately named, given that we are here fighting for the freedom to have lives unconstrained by the limits that climate change will impose.
Stuck to the back of the cupboard door here is a collection of envelopes with everyone’s names on, for people to put “warm and fuzzy” anonymous messages in. Today, Basia has put chocolate and mini Father Christmases in each one, because it’s Saint Nicholas’s Day. In Poland, children clean their shoes and find treats inside them in the morning.
We’ve been here more than a week now. Thinking about last weekend is like looking back over a huge landscape of peaks and valleys you’ve spent ages traversing, where the obstacles and hidden surprises have fertilised your mind and strengthened your heart – but looking ahead towards the expanse of land disappearing towards a hazy horizon in front of you, fatigue spreads across your legs.
Yet it’s not so bad, because standing with you under the same sky is a team of people trying to head towards the same place, each taking slightly different routes but meeting at the same point at the end of each day, connected by threads of solidarity stronger than the strongest rope someone can manufacture. And, looking around, you see other groups of people setting up camp for the night, cooking together over flickering flames that spread a warm orange glow across the network of sparkles, firelight catching the bright eyes set in a multitude of faces.
And you feel a strange power inside you, the kind that doesn’t come entirely from inside, but is woven by colourful threads of light, each one rooted in the heart of someone on that journey with you. And despite momentary frustrations, blisters on your heels, slips in the mud, you can’t imagine finding such purpose, self-fulfilment and this sense of shared greatness anywhere else.