Shivering, yes I was shivering inside of me. Partly from the cold which resulted from an unusually freezing winter for our part of the country, but it wasn't only the cold the wall clock told me as it merrily ticked in the New Year. I couldn’t understand it. I was experiencing a mixed bag of feelings as I hugged a few friends who had especially driven up to wish me, knowing that I would be all alone. My heart was like a huge jumble sale, there was every kind of feeling bunched up there...I just dug in a pulled out whatever I needed; a warm glow, a radiant face mask, just the right gestures or an appropriate answer...anything! So while I was aware of gratitude for a year of God’s grace, thoughtful friends, relatively good health, blessings showered on our family, I couldn’t be free of the lurking “something” that I couldn’t identify. Whichever way I tried to explain it, I wasn’t really putting my finger on a satisfactory explanation. Finally, I gave up and decided to just be.
At my keypad the next morning, I typed out: “What I want right now is a long itinerary of fabulous places to travel to – confirmed tickets (executive class) reservations complete at each destination in comfortable resorts/ hotels/ home-stays...whatever spells beauty, leisure, fun, goodness, fabulous! Money enough and more to not worry about how and where; a travel companion with loads of humour, travel experience, confidence, thoughtfulness, patience, gumption and no fiscal problems; a person of honour and excellent character...in short a fairy tale being!!!!”
Travel seemed to hit a key. Restlessness, I needed to move. I don’t seem to belong to any one place – I belong to all places. I think that’s the only way I can fit into this world and its peoples. Was there a gypsy ancestor? If there was, I haven’t heard of it! But if facts be faced I’ve been a gypsy since I was born in a hospital by the sea-side; numerous moves due to dad’s postings, hubby’s job transfers, single parent on the move with job and residence shifts, trying to make a go of it, and every effort to settle down going in vain. I am a gypsy and by no conscious design. That’s all in a light vein!
Seriously, it takes on the garb of transformation in a different, more interesting way in these lines by Elizabeth Gilbert in the novel Eat, Pray, Love:
“I find the Augusteum so reassuring, that this structure has had such an erratic career, yet always adjusted to the particular wildness of the times. To me the Augusteum is like a person who’s led a totally crazy life – who maybe started out as a housewife, then unexpectedly became a widow, then took up fan dancing to make money, ended up somehow as the first female dentist in outer space, and then tried her hand at national politics – yet who has managed to hold an intact sense of herself throughout every upheaval.”
I have not been chaotic. However chaotic circumstances and situations have brought about “changes that nobody, least of all I, had anticipated.” Time has been the gypsy moving through my life. And I still wouldn’t like to say: “Time you old gypsy man will you not stay? Put up your caravan just for one day...?”
It definitely is going to be a very fruitful, satisfying year!