About us

Clare (Cawood) Wilson was born in Kadoma in Zimbabwe in 1949. She spent her formative years at six different schools in three Southern African countries: Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and then back in Zimbabwe. Her father’s work as a Health Inspector took the family deep into the rural areas of these countries. As a result she was exposed from early on to how diverse we are as peoples, communities and families. A post-matric year spent as an AFS exchange student at a seventh school near Seattle, USA added perspective as to how the experience of grappling with being ‘other’ is a worldwide human phenomenon but also that there is liberation in seeing life as a lifelong pilgrimage rather than as a maze. As a person whose ancestors came to Africa only in 1820 she continuously grapples with questions of ‘otherness’: “What does it mean to be in Africa but not of Africa?” and “What does it mean to be a response-able part of the human family wherever it is that one lives?”

She holds an arts degree (Anthropology, Comparative Religion) from University of Cape Town and a Social Science degree from The University of South Africa.

Clare has worked as a consultant, counselor, trainer, facilitator and Social Worker but it was the near miss of a Masters Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand that gave her pause for thought on her journey. As did Dante, she found that “In the middle of the walk of (my) life I found myself in a dark wood. And the true way was lost” This lostness introduced her to the labyrinth and to the liberation of ‘not knowing’. Subsequent trips to Labyrinth Gatherings in the USA deepened her interest.

Her unique two-path Reconciliation Labyrinth emerged as a result of her own struggles with brokenness and incompleteness. It arose in particular as she searched for a way to reach across to the outer world again after a time of being within. How to integrate the inner journey with the outer journey? What would a journey look like that acknowledged that ‘the other’ looked so far away and on such a parallel trajectory that it was as if a common meeting place could never be reached? Where does one even start? It was a moment of huge insight to realise that the journey, like all journeys, starts from where one’s feet are. Where else?

The Reconciliation Labyrinth is in use in four continents not only as a tool for personal understanding and growth but as a tool that externalises and enables conversations about ‘otherness’.