Five Delicious Weeks Under the South African Sun…
Sometimes we’ve tried all we can do to make something work, to try feel again or find our way back to ourselves and nothing changes. Until we stop trying and we give up for a bit. I did this, packed my bags and flew back home to South Africa. I let my shoulders drop, closed my eyes and smiled as the familiar scent of acacia leaves flowed smoothly into my chest. I stayed with my brothers for the first 2 weeks and allowed them to take over as they always have, I let my independence and strength stay packed in my luggage and felt the sweet comfort of being completely taken care of. South Africa is like a very perfect cup of cappuccino, warm,rich and comforting, filled with her good people that are always smiling and kind.I met complete strangers who embraced me not with a shake of a hand or a nod of acknowledgement but with a very tight and genuine hug.Its just the South African way, we don’t have fancy ways of kissing cheeks ,but we do have the best hugs in the world!
So while I am here I have been indulging in the most succulent of meats, piles of veggies and all the wholesome African cooking my eyes can find. The last thing I’m worried about is how well my legs fit into my jeans.There is a way to heal, its sometimes done through the complete relinquishing of the control of your life and allow yourself to just be present and your senses be your only guide to what is missing from your life.Its all I’ve been doing, watching the way my family laughs and deeply trying to store that memory in my heart, listening to the flow of their voices and remind myself how much love I’ve got in this world.
I’ve learned a great deal from somewhere I tried very hard to leave, not because I didn’t love my home but because I wanted to see the rest of the world so badly that I forgot that who I am comes straight from the soil, God let me enter this world on. We can let the world influence us,but when we get lost and forget who we are we need to come home to be reminded again.South Africa is my home and I love the way her sunsets take over the sky and blast rich colours across the horizon, the way the ocean air softens my skin and how so many different languages all have a place under one nation.
What is it that makes Africans so happy in such a poor land, a land with many wars, deaths and heartache? why are we so happy? I believe it’s because we realize here that there is no control, something that I don’t feel when I’m safely tucked in bed in Los Angeles. There I have so much control that I ignorantly live within the illusion that I can mould my life without error too. However, here in Africa I feel so powerless to life and death. If something bad were to happen, I wouldn’t be able to stop it. I would probably be able to stop it in America or at least delude myself that I have the power to try…that’s the reason I feel so alive here, so vividly alive, because I am powerless. Whether I like it or not, I must let go because life will happen regardless of what I decide. This is why South Africans and many people who come from similar developing countries know how to live , how to laugh without fear of judgement, how to speak with emotions, and how to respect and truly love one another.We know it could end at any moment.
I’ll take this affirmation back with me when I leave, Africa is not perfect but she taught me to be genuine and true, because we cannot outrun life. We can only learn how to live more fully in her presence, speak more truthfully to the ones we love and honour who we are with pride. Africans may suffer a great deal, but for people who have many reasons to feel pain “they are the people” I’ve seen smile and laugh the most passionately.
We are not brought to this earth to undergo perfection, that is not where love lies, we are brought to be humble and taught to love while knowing we will never have all that our heart desires.