For quite some time now I've had a hankerin' for a small movable living space, not unlike a gypsy wagon. Sort of a movable feast for my gypsy soul. This will not come as a surprise if you've been around these parts for any length of time. I once spent a couple of months in the southwest traveling and living out of a van so I'm not unfamiliar with what's required. Despite the settling down I've been doing here on my Minnesota land I still have a desire for the sound of wheels beneath me, that ribbon of road spooling out before me. But, the voices that beckon are softer now, more of a whisper in my ear; they speak with less urgency. The road isn't going anywhere and right now I'm appreciating a place to be, a place where I'm establishing roots that will be here waiting whenever I go traveling again.
Staying put has taken some getting used to. It's a grand lesson on how to be at peace within. A lesson I'm learning, I'm happy to say, and I'm more at peace than I've ever been. Besides this wonderful chunk of land I call home I also have a great companion named Buddy. This little golden buddha-boy has taught me much about unconditional love and pure, unmitigated joy in the simplest things. He arrived just in time to help me with this settling-in process.
What got me thinking again about these caravans is a book by Iain McKell, in which he explores the lives of new gypsies through a series of photographs. There seems to be a resurgence in this lifestyle, particularly in the U.K. Out of choice or necessity, I don't know. My sense is that, for the most part, people choose it; it's what they prefer. Maybe it's about the sun coming up on golden fields.
The idea of parking a caravan at the edge of a field, living the simplest of lives, is still very appealing. I know it's a romantic idyll but it's also who I am. Even now, on this place, I have a small home and a very simple lifestyle. Perhaps it goes back to when I was a child and was so enamored of the woman living in the black van which I wrote about last year in, "An Old Black Van and a Ripe Yellow Pear." It's who I've always been.
Photographs are by Iain McKell: www.iainmckell.com