Lifestyle columnJust be …

2016-07-20 06:00
A glorified camping trip to  Southbroom is just what (from left) Phila Mwelase, Sarah  Hampshire and Jodie Rae Weeks needed. Photo: supplied

A glorified camping trip to Southbroom is just what (from left) Phila Mwelase, Sarah Hampshire and Jodie Rae Weeks needed. Photo: supplied

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IT was a cool Thursday morning and my friends and I had our things packed and ready to go “glamping”.
I, the fussiest person I know, was going to be sleeping outside, in a tent, when fancy hotels were screaming for my attention. This of course was all in my head, they didn’t actually scream my name. I was just being materialistic - life was not a Beyoncé music video after all.

I remember Sarah Hampshire’s mystical green eyes, filled with awe and popping from excitement, edging me to lighten up while Jodie Rae Weeks, my red-haired darling, had a cool demeanour as she was entering her “realm of peace”.
She was a scout-turned-city-girl - we always joked about how she lived a double life. A pretty primary school teacher by day and a tomboy scout any time she was free to be her true self.

We packed our supposed-to-be-minimum luggage and were on our way along the Hibiscus coastline to the South Coast. We jammed to some Regina Spector, Jack Johnson and Matthew Mole, sunglasses on and wind running through our hair.

Arriving at our destination in the small village of Southbroom, we were met by the smell of high trees, clean air, birds singing loudly, and the sound of the sea close by.

In the reception area were three lovely people who owned the vast property. We were surrounded by sugar-cane fields and one could sense adventure in the atmosphere. It was a big world and I had permission to explore it.

Directed to our campsite, my nightmare was soon to be realised. Jodi was in her element as she set up our temporary home for the next two nights. I stood on the sideline and watched as she nailed each peg to the ground and erected the tent poles and canvas. Every now and then offering my services, which I knew weren’t really needed. I always know one or two things about something, but this time I knew nothing. My job was to watch and learn or simply enjoy being sort of catered to.

We all went sightseeing and visited the red desert. I loved seeing the locals with smiles on their faces, enjoying the peaceful side of slow living. I realised then how tired I had been. How life had been so busy I forgot to enjoy the simple pleasures of life … breathing.

So I inhaled a whole lot of air and let it out slowly, capturing the moment in my heart.

Night had crept in and my friends had the bright idea that we should go jump on trampolines. I thought it was a silly idea, a grown woman like myself jumping up and down. What would that achieve? They were very excited as I stiffened up without notice. I was an adult who was called to my destiny to adulthood, whether I liked it or not. Who likes to jump anyways?

Pretty red-haired Jodie held out her hand to me as she encouraged me to join her in being a child again. Bianca, who was jetting off into the sky with the biggest smile on her face shouting with hysterical laughter, was also begging me to join them. Reluctantly I went on to join my friends. I remember how off-balance I felt as Jodi jumped vigorously up and down, I was very concerned that I was going to fall.

Then a sudden bout of childlike joy came over me as I loosened up. The trampoline did not disappoint me. It kept catching me each time and I could take off my adult mask I had on. Being an adult is just a uniform we put on each day, because of the things life demands from us. But deep down inside all that makes us happy are the simple things.

The part I loved most was lying on the trampoline with my dear friends in the silence of the night and listening to the moon speak its glory. I loved how the trees made rattling noises reminding me that we are not alone in the world, that when life gets the better of you, one can do what they do - just be. - Phila Mwelase.

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