If we’re going to become Gypsies, it’s probably a good thing that Fae’s favorite things to play with are the felted wool balls that I made her, wooden cooking spoons, and her freshly cleaned cloth diapers. Those can all come along.
The Gypsy culture is totally misunderstood and stereotyped. But, I admit, even the stereotypes–odd-looking mix-matched fashion, lots of jingling jewelry, stealthy thievery–have seemed appealing to me, at one point or another. As you know, I tend to romantisize the Hell out of everything. But still, the Gypsy lifestyle is appealing to me, even in its reality.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that they have their own solid culture, and a folk one at that. They also don’t conform to society, but instead, learn about it, and use it to their best advantage. They can be creative when it comes to making a living–entertaining, trading, crafting, metal-working–and, yes, they do sometimes beg and even steal, but that isn’t all of them, and it’s what I understand to be more of a last resort.
There just seems to be something oddly grounding about this type of culture–strange indeed. They don’t have ties to where they are, but they seem to be incredibly rooted in their Gypsy communities. Same with all of the nomadic cultures that I’ve read of, even reindeer herders. Their lifestyles seem so down-to-earth, so basic and routine. Even though their surroundings are unpredictable, their daily life appears intrinsic. And that must be exciting–to not need to rely on surroundings to feel at home and rooted. Instead, it’s found among the family, and community, and what few things they do have. I assume Gypsies and Nomads must feel very connected to life itself, very real. And, with that, maybe it’s easier to live more peacefully, less stressfully.
I’ve admired that same type of peacefulness coming from modern-day homesteaders in America. They’re, on the contrary, rooted to their land, but they’re also non-conforming, and instead, finding their own way–one that makes sence to them. I can see this in my family’s future, but we don’t know where we want to be yet, and as I’ve mentioned, we need the means first.
I want to be clear that I have nothing against society–please don’t get me wrong. It’s just that the common American way just doesn’t appeal to me, not right now at least. It won’t make me or my husband happy, and surely won’t satisfy our strongest desires. So, I’m looking for the lifestyle that will. We have ideas of what we want out of life, and I guess I’ve just made it a challenge for me to figure out how to get them, and now, while we’re young.
And Fae has been a great motivation. It puts a timeline in perspective. We’re trying to figure it all out–exactly what we want, that is–while she’s small. That way she’ll get to experience the lifestyle we’ve created. She, and the other little ones we imagine we’ll have in our future.
Fae is latched on, her hair is blowing in the breeze from the fan, she’s making her little sleeping-while-nursing sounds, and every few minutes, she reaches her arm out, feeling for my face, to make sure I’m still here–even though she’s sucking on me.