My aspirations rest in the air over there. Though I dreamed of beyond, it is there where the longing was at its most heady. I would drive and drive and the weather and scents of my childhood – sweet mowed grass, warm night breeze, mounting heat and tension before an electric storm in rush hour traffic – provided the idyllic backdrop to my dreaming self.
I miss Joburg. The tree-lined streets and the smiles and ease of life. Speech with clicks, the colourful and crazy mix of people. The Hillbrow Tower backdrop and eclectic soundtrack of drums, kwaito, jazz and more. The spirit of forgiveness, the hope and potential.
But maybe most of all I miss the dreamer within with roots in place so strong that could imagine adventures and magic in faraway places, roots that steadied me as I went about trying to conquer the world.
So here I am in a corner of the globe I once-upon-a-time dreamed of, and though I’m enjoying the delicious and varied flavours, I (not unexpectedly) yearn a little for my childhood home.
Home – a word I’ve considered daily since going off to London in 2003, a word so many of us look to define. Yes it is geographic but perhaps beyond that, a safe spot where you can catch your breath, refuel and regroup. A place where you can walk around in pyjamas and make-up less and not have to impress.
Since we live in mobile times and wander around so much, it’s perhaps more relevant than ever to first find and build a home for ourselves within. To have unshakable roots no matter where we are situated.
Many of our inner worlds are a little dark and stuffy, filled with criticism, attack, pressure, expectation and guilt, but it is entirely possible to renovate and transform this space into a sanctuary and place of refuge. Just as we’d strive to make our physical homes a clean, beautiful and comforting haven, so too can we sweep out and dust off of what no longer serves us, let in a little more light and air, and stretch out a hand out to the presence of love, acceptance, assurance and support. And like my extraordinary place of birth, which I love so much, let the energy of forgiveness permeate.
The official song for the upcoming 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup:
Shakira featuring the brilliant Freshlyground: Waka Waka (This time for Africa)
The cutest music video: Freshlyground’s Pot Belly