A few years ago I took a fitness, diet & nutrition course, and I learned that it takes 28 days to solidify a new good habit (this applies to food, sleep, practice, thinking, music - everything).
I spent 31 days in South Africa, and it was truly wonderful for my soul!
I now miss the extraordinary energy that is emitted from the earth there.
I miss the inspirational people I met, the beautiful musical experiences, the concerts, sharing music with all the beautiful souls in the audience...
I miss the lovely conversations I had about art, history, culture, education, family, and our world.
And, of course, I miss the beauty and power of nature there - the animals and their exquisite reserves - all that I habituated to, and that moved my soul.
I had the great pleasure of making music with local musicians, who love music as much as I do.
I had the privilege of performing in historically moving spaces such as the City Hall in Cape Town.
What a vibrant, powerful, and glorious space to perform in!
I attended the funeral of an inspiring and great woman, Dr. Thandi Ndlovu.
I was swept away by the spirit and moving sentiments of those who love her and who will continue her mission.
I played my violin for elephants who flapped their ears to listen, and raised their trunks to greet me.
I witnessed and heard the lyrical and rhythmic roaring of lions, calling to each other in the night.
I watched a leopard calmly devour its impala in a tree.
I saw pairs of cheetah and rhinoceros lounging together on the warm earth.
I watched hyena puppies eat, and had a pack of the rare and endangered African wild dogs cross my path!
There is not a moment of ease or stillness in South Africa.
In fact, the country as I understood it during my visit is riddled with the aftermath of corruption and unbalance.
Yet there is a strength, directness, beauty and power within the people and nature of South Africa... and a faith in goodness that rises above all.
It is most unique and I was simply in awe of it.
It was breathtaking to absorb.
Much of the music that is closest to my heart and soul was written during the most difficult times in history and expresses the beauty and power of humanity.
It uplifts my soul and gives me strength, inspiration and dedication to honour and cherish this music, as it was written for us to enjoy and keep in our own difficult circumstances.
And so, I await once more the beautiful song that is South Africa... its bright, strong, and resilient melody!
Until next time, with all my love.
Yi-Jia Susanne Hou
P.S. I will be back - soon - for another tour. :)
Photos by: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco