Chama eu, Angola, chama eu.

Roda de capoeira hosted by Menino Quem Foi Seu Mestre group, June 2019

When I thought all my meaningful social life was really encased in my phone, occasionally spilling over to my laptop for longer emails requiring both hands to compose properly, I was made to realise that people of flesh and bones are not just a distant memory in my life.

Before children I have sailed the not always friendly waters of capoeira angola. Yesterday my incredible friend and her husband came down for an event not too far from where I live. They arrived in the evening and filled the house with life and friendship. Their kids entertained mine, we ate and drank and laughed and even played board games with the unstoppables. And then they defied all odds and got me and the kids in the car and took us all to the capoeira event they were here for.

And there I was. In a big hall packed of people looking forward to sweating and singing and dancing like the universe begins and ends here. So many familiar faces. Hugs that meant everything. They meant I was home and welcome and in good company. They meant the kids would be safe, looked after by nobody and everyone. They meant I could breathe, and sing, and still do all the chasing the little ones get me to do, but without feeling alone.

And so I sang, and danced in the far corner of the small people’s football pitch. Jumped with the drums despite my three year old’s protests. Felt life run through me free of stress and fear and worry. It was not a mystic thing. Not at all. Capoeira is a community and, like all communities, it is not above flaws and disappointments. But it was real. It was life with people who can get together and celebrate by playing this weird and beautiful game. And I was held. By the roda and the atabaque, by the smile of my sisters speaking love with no words, and by the big shoulders of one of my many older brothers scattered around the planet.

Axe’, meus camaradas.

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