December 29, 2012

How Did I Get Here? ~ Clare Melina Redpath

Lost in a Jozi sunset.

It’s a week before Christmas and Jozi (Johannesburg) is fast finding itself ever more solitary.

But it’s beautiful. The days are long and blissfully warm beneath the relentless summer sun, the tree-lined streets invite one out for afternoon strolls and the pavement cafés of sleepy village suburbs are there to hold your hand as, slowly creeping, the formidable introspection comes.

In a lost world, among lost souls, the question always comes: “How did I get here?”

This is harder than I thought it would be. I’m looking back, trying to re-trace my steps.

It’s harder still because my life has—for the most part—been wonderfully blessed, full of much love and countless opportunities. Yet some of my earliest childhood memories are my most daunting.

Does it even matter? I’m not exactly sure trying to find answers based on experiences and choices we’ve made in years gone by really takes us forward. There’s here and now. This moment.

Maybe it’s just: I am here.

I am mostly happy, healthy, well-travelled, surrounded by wonderful, supportive family and friends; moving, I hope, towards a life that is more conscious, spiritual; following a career that I love.

By my own account, “successful.”

Here I sit watching the slowly setting sun steal away the light, surrounded by what remains of Jozi’s heart as they enjoy Mother Nature’s splendor in the company of good food and friends.

But I’m in my own world, taken away by thoughts of everything and nothing, the sound of the most moving voice I know filling my whole body to its very core with songs of all-consuming love and ecstasy.

I always turn to his music in these moments, because the sound of such beauty must mean that it exists. And yet I can’t help but wonder, does the man behind the voice know, really know, the words of which he sings?

I always look so forward to this time of year in this South African city, but with mixed emotions. Why do I eagerly await it like a child unable to sleep with the anticipation of Christmas morning, and when it’s upon me, I feel its choking hands around my neck?

For with this soothing serenity so too comes its siblings: fear and loneliness.

I do not know how I got here and I’m not even sure that I want the answer. But as the sun beats its last rays upon my thirsty skin, the wind gently caressing my hair, anonymous companions begin to wander from their happy rendezvous and “my pavement café” hugs me tightly, then slowly releases.

I feel for but a fleeting moment grateful. Blessed. Sated.


Clare Melina Redpath is a young at heart Jozi (Johannesburg) girl, working as a yoga teacher and ayurvedic therapist at her own studio—Bodhi Centre—in the leafy and picturesque suburb of Parkhurst. She also freelances as an online marketing consultant. Her journey with yoga and studies of Eastern philosophy, including Buddhism and Hinduism, keep her traveling back to India each year, but also other parts of the globe where wonderful opportunities to teach and learn continue to present themselves. Oh, and she has serious ‘attachment’ to chocolate and peanut butter.




Assistant Ed: Kevin Macku

Ed: Bryonie Wise

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