I profess… I am a gypsy. This was not apparent to me until last night, actually. One of my sisters sent me a link to an online test where one could discover who they were in a past life (What I Was In A Past Life). Sometimes I indulge in these silly tests just for fun. After all, what could it hurt? It might be fun to entertain the thought of a totally different life from long ago! And maybe, it could explain some quirky habits or characteristics I might have carried into my current journey on planet earth!
With little hesitation, I answered each question on the quiz. They were simple, multiple choice questions, so I picked the first answer that appealed to me. My answers addressed current gender (in this life), favorite color, greatest fear, favorite school subject, and favorite number. I was asked for my birthdate and zodiac sign. I have to admit, I half expected the results to show I had been a philosopher, perhaps a healer, or maybe a person connected with nature in some way. So, when I clicked the last button and the website indicated it had calculated my answers, but then asked if I was still ready to view the particulars of my past life, I wondered, “Now what is that supposed to mean?” Was it so odd, difficult, or taboo that I might not want to see it? Oh well, I figured I could handle it, whatever it was, so I clicked the red button. Why not?
Here is what it said: “You earned your living as a gypsy fortune-teller on the fairs and you were also competent in numerology. The pseudonym you used was “Eleona Baltimor”. You were born in the city of Ankara around year 1884. You lived in a cozy caravan which you inherited from your mother and although after you were two years old you never saw your father again, you had an interesting and comfortable life, you were devoted to fortune-telling and you never experienced any hardship in money. Your exact place and date of death is unknown, but you died at decent 64 years of age.”
At first, I discarded the entire idea. A gypsy fortune-teller? I was stymied! But my sister quickly reminded me there were some interesting connections to the gypsy lifestyle. Actually, it was not very long before I made the realization that she was onto something! I certainly have indulged in travel and capricious gypsy inclinations! Suddenly, I understood my absolute love and fascination with the 2005 release of Van Morrison’s “Magic Time” album, and more specifically, the strange pull I felt listening to the song, “Gypsy In My Soul”.
When I first graduated high school, I managed to vacation outside of my home state of Nebraska a good bit. I traveled much of the United States for the next decade. I did not have a lot of money back then, but I managed camping trips to national parks and often flew to visit friends who had moved to distant areas in other states. These were trips I could take inexpensively, and yet fulfill the need to seek adventure and experience a little excitement.
When I moved to Oklahoma in 1990, I continued to travel. By then I was making better money and was able to afford trips to larger cities and more upscale destinations. I was intrigued and fascinated by life in the various regions I visited, always striking up conversation with local people and gleaning much about their way of life. But in the period from 1998 to 2011, I did not travel as much. As many of you may have drawn from previous blog posts, I suffered with chronic depression. So the only traveling I managed during this time was a few business trips with FD, and a few trips he and I took for pleasure.
I felt safe and protected with FD, but traveling on my own became a thing of the past. I had lost my trust in people. Where just years before, I had been a traveling nomad, knowing no stranger and fearing nothing, I had now retreated into my shell to live much like a hermit. I knew I needed this time of caring for self, healing wounds, and protecting myself from further hurt. Try as I might though, I could not muster the desire to put my traveling shoes on again. Even a trip to the grocery store was a dreaded outing for me.
Then, in October of 2012, something changed. My nephew, Jeff, had just moved to Wichita, Kansas and I desperately wanted to see him. I had not driven a four-hour distance by myself in nearly a decade, but my desire to see Jeff overpowered my fear of making the trip. I worried mostly about fuel stops and encountering strangers along the way. What if I got fatigued and exhausted… what if I had a tire blow out, or a mechanical breakdown? So many questions of fear arose; my ego hammered me the whole trip. It was all needless worry. Not one snafu occurred. In fact, the drive went so smoothly, I wondered where the time had gone! I was proud of myself and I had a wonderful time!
Not two weeks later, another trip presented itself. I would drive by myself to Muskogee Oklahoma, nearly 3.5 hours from my home, to meet blogging friend, Sandy Sue from “A Mind Divided“. I was not nervous about meeting Sandy – but I was nervous about the drive.
In my heart, I already knew Sandy. We had poured out our hearts and thoughts via our blogs and email for nearly two years. No, it was my fear of strangers and situations I might incur along the way that I was wary of. And, because of the driving distance and time involved to be able to visit, I would have to spend a night in a hotel, alone. But once again, I managed just fine.
I arrived without a hitch, checked in at the hotel, shopped a bit, ate lunch and dinner alone in a restaurant, and went to bed early so that I could be up in plenty of time, ready to meet my friend Sandy, face to face! Sandy’s blog post about our meeting expresses the event quite eloquently, “The Intimate Strangers of Blogland“. Unfortunately, the five hours we spent visiting and connecting that day went entirely too fast. I found myself wishing she was my neighbor across the street, instead of a distant friend in far away Iowa. I drove home elated that afternoon, thinking how I would drive to Iowa if I had to but by golly, I was going to see Sandy Sue again… nothing could keep me from it! The barrier I had set up a decade ago was crumbling away and my traveling bone had risen from its ashes!
In February this year, I again made my way to Wichita to meet Jeff. This time we planned to carpool, driving onward to Nebraska for a weekend with family. That too, proved to be another traveling milestone for me. I was able to confront some personal demons and hurts from the past on that trip. Small steps to letting go, great leaps of liberation and freedom. For twenty-three years, I had dreaded trips back to Nebraska. This trip, the dread and anxiety fell away, much like the melting ice and snow we encountered that weekend. The winds of change had followed me into historically stormy territory. But the warm sun was shining on me now!
Just after returning from the Nebraska trip, I got an invitation to visit another close blogger friend, Lynda, from “Life on the Farmlet“. Lynda and I had not only shared blogs and emails over a two-year period, but we had also visited over the phone. Lynda had been my friend from nearly the start of my blogging days, and had encouraged me all along the way.
So, early this spring, I made the arrangements to fly to Alabama in late March to meet Lynda and spend a week with her and her husband, Bob, on the Farmlet. Other than some fear of airport security protocol and not knowing what to expect without FD’s help, I was excited about the trip. Hilariously, the only issue that presented itself was that Lynda and I did not recognize each other at the airport (even though we kept looking right AT each other). Had she not mustered the effort to call out my name just as I passed by, we might have missed each other!
The week with Lynda and Bob was fantastic! It was the perfect week of sisterly bonding, sight-seeing in historical Huntsville, experiencing the rhythm of Farmlet life (complete with guinea calls and honking geese for an alarm clock in the morning), bird and squirrel watching, gardening and chores, getting a “taste” of Lynda’s fabulous cooking, and taking in the gorgeous landscape of eastern Alabama and parts of southeastern Tennessee. I also had some intriguing dreams while I slept at night, and that just doesn’t happen folks! Dreams like I experienced that week, would normally only take place in an environment where I felt relaxed and completely stress-free. This just goes to show how very “at home” I felt during my stay with Lynda and Bob. To read more about my visit, check out this recent post in Lynda’s blog, “A Visitor on the Farmlet!”
Perhaps my sister (also known as Princess Josaphine in her previous life) is correct about my gypsy ways. I think it is a good sign that, after a long, dry period of being rooted in one spot, I am back in my traveling shoes again. I just needed time to heal. I needed the gifts of medicine from Daisy deer and all of the wildlife here on the ten-acre ranch, to help me work through my troubles. And I am thankful that FD, my family, and a few special friends, loved and supported me through my hermit time. I do not know where the gypsy winds will blow me next… but with these strong, springtime, Oklahoma gales gusting away, I’m thinking I best put a couple of rocks in my pockets!
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…