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A Gypsy's Waggon, Part Five

Part Five
       Over the past months Joko felt extremely tired. He couldn’t enjoy life and more than ever missed Marika, his beloved wife. The responsibilities for the welfare of his people became more demanding and the physical stress was difficult to cope with. He prayed to be capable of fulfilling the promises made to his people and safely take them into the Promised Land before his strength abandoned him completely.
      Under this condition he neglected the good healthy rules and forgot to eat proper meals, and lost weight rapidly. At night he became restless and incapable of formulating plans for the morrow. He was mentally stressed and free from pain. He thought he was in need of some rest to restore him to his physical best.
       Joko thought of himself, “There isn’t much wrong with me. I’ll go to the forest and ask the help of the Spirits of the Ancestors. They will guide me through this difficult time and restore the energy that I need to lead my people to join the Andalusia’s Gypsies in Spain.”
       He went the next day into the forest. He lit the sacred fire and threw into it a satchel containing the magical herbs of mugwort and rosemary, to assist in the call of his Ancestors. He meditated and fell into a trance and began, in this way, his mystical meeting with his forefathers.
      He stared into the flames and called the sacred spirits. They appeared to him in the vestiges of the sacred people of the past. His Ancestors were now with him, ready to listen to his words and to give him their oracles to be valuated and judged.  Joko looked deeply into the crackling flames, concentrating and trying to recognize the spirits of the dead floating in the sacred fire. Then Yag’s spirit, his Puro Moosh (old man, grand father) who had been his mentor when alive, and respected by Joko as his master came to him.
        Yag’s spirit drew Joko into the flames. They mixed together in the contortion of the fire, dancing for a while and joining their spirits. Joko became part of the smoke and fire and purified himself, ready to hear the words of his Puro Moosh. He had become a shadow himself, and able to join the other spirit’s shadows. In front of him he saw the visions of the future. It was his future and the future of his people.
        He clearly saw them joining the group of Andalusia’s Gitanos returning to Spain, and saw them safely reaching the end of their journey.  
        But Joko wasn’t leading them. The leader was a stranger, a strong young man with unmatchable strength. He led at the front of the caravan and a young woman, with equal strength emanating from her, was at his side.
         Suddenly Joko heard a terrifying noise and a tremor shook the ground around him opening wide smoking cracks. A hand stretched from one of the earth’s opening, trying to reach him. A ghostly woman’s face appeared rising from the smoldering crack. She soon mutated into familiar semblances coming closer to Joko, who was still part of the mythical fire and smoke. He was only a soul, separated from his body. The spirit of the woman rapidly took on the look of his adored Marika. He jubilantly tried to hug her. She smiled back, stretched her hand, and in a begging gestured asked him to follow her. 
      Joko muttered an incomprehensible sound… till the vision suddenly disappeared and Joko was not longer a spirit, and again he was sitting in front of the sacred fire. The spell was broken. The Spirits of the Ancestors had spoken to him, and had predicted his future and the future of his people.
~*~
      Ravnos was one of the Andalusia’s Gypsies that Ida had met the previous week, and on that occasion the young Gitano kept constant eye contact with her.
     “He is really handsome,” she thought “It would be fun to meet him again.”  
      Ravnos had been in the past a professional Flamingo dancer. He also was a good guitarist and masterly made his instrument vibrate with melodious notes, in the way only an Andalusia Gitano can do.
      In was his mother gypsy blood surfacing in him and this inheritance possessed him with the passions of wandering with his wagon around the country. Most of the time he was alone, but was never lonely; he was absorbing what nature offered and learned those simple lessons of surviving he had learned from his people to give thanks to what the environment was generously gifting him, and in gypsy fashion he never abused or took advantage of what nature offered, always thinking that someone after him would need the same resources to survive.
      When Ravnos’ mother was young she had an affair with a famous toreador, and became pregnant, but her affair was well over before she realized she was expecting.
      That was the reason why Ravnos had never met his father. His mother never liked to speak to him of her past or her quick passion for the bullfighter, therefore he had grown with no love for a father who had never been part of his life.
      The toreador, as most of them, liked the limelight offered by the success of his career, surrounded by the glamorous life of the fiestas, the many aficionados and patrons who offered him never ending parties and in this easy life women shared the pleasures of their beautiful bodies, attracted to him, like moths to the candle light, in the frivolity of the life, to spend a night with an acclaimed matador.
      His motto was, ‘To fight toros in the arenas by day and to enjoy wine and lovers outside the arenas by night.’
      He disliked the primitive gypsy life which he found tasteless. He was attracted to Ravnos’s mother by the innate sensuality and eroticism that irradiated from her and in those days he admitted that she was the most sensual lover in Andalusia.
      Ravnos was one of the few gypsies who had achieved a school education. It had been possible because many of the Spanish Gitanos chose to give away their nomadic life with their folkloristic wagons, to share with the Gaujo (non-Gypsy) the more monotonous life in brick homes scattered in a suburban area. 
      Ravnos graduated as a Veterinarian. What better profession could there be for someone having Gypsy blood? Gypsies had always shared life with domesticated animals. Horses, goats, dogs had always been part of their lives and in their mythology these animals possess equally spiritual powers that humans have.
      Ravnos had completed his education in the western world and decided initially to share his abilities servicing the Gaujo’s world. But the call of his nomadic blood was too strong in him and he invested his saving to buy his own wagon and return to the atavistic nomadic life, that he had shared when he was a boy with his grandfather. He used to travel in a solitary way, meditating and observing what nature had to offer and learning what Mother Nature gave to survive. He found this was the lifestyle that better suited him. Now at the age of thirty-two he was still single, quite an unusual thing for a gypsy. He was aware of that, but never suffered to be alone. He knew that first he had to prepare himself, physically and mentally for days to come. He knew that the reason he existed was to be one day a leader of the Gitanos.
 At night he wondered, “Would one day a gypsy’s woman come into my life and I’ll fall in love with her? If I marry a gypsy woman, I would have more reason to dedicate my talents to the Gypsies’ welfare and be part of their free lifestyle.”
     In the many months of solitary traveling, Ravnos became aware that many restrictions were imposed by the laws of the modern Western Civilization to the nomadic people. Gypsies today are in need of permits to camp in public facilities or National Parks and they are forbidden to choose a camping area too close to the city or suburbs.
       Ravnos was aware that in the 21st century the gypsy’s life was declining rapidly and the nomadic people were being assimilated into the industrialized world. Therefore their folklore would disappear. The time had come for someone to speak up strongly and be their champion in the grueling work of saving the Gypsy’s traditions or else this romantic Époque would be gone for ever.
       Ravnos was critical and bitter against the gaujos.
He thought, ‘True, I should be thankful to them for the doctorate I received in their world, but that cost me. In exchange this people wants me to use my abilities to serve in their world and greedily help to accumulate material possessions. But they are not aware that gypsies don’t need the wealth that comes with possessing gold or petrol. Gypsies are contented with what nature gives freely and they know how to preserve it intact for future generations.
     ‘Greediness and material possession are only good rules for the gaujo, and in contrast with the credo of my people. When I was a child, I learned that Gitanos are free to move around this wonderful world, sharing what nature abundantly offers them.’
      Part of Ravnos’ learning was about how the cycle of Nature, through time, maintained the continuity of life. He learned to love the simple rules imposed in nomadic life, the joy to sleep under a sky crowded with stars, in the warmer summer nights and it was a great joy to him to admire the nocturnal sky above him. In that way he felt he was part of the creation, with the many luminescent stars representing other worlds, perhaps as beautiful as Earth and populated with magnificent creatures, in the immensity of the Universe.
     Ravnos had traveled alone for the past two years, living simply with what nature had offered him, spending his time in meditation, considering the essential necessary laws of life as he had learned from his grandfather as the elder of his people.
     Ravnos thought, “We don’t have a choice, we belong to Earth, which is the provider of the basic necessities and our duty is to preserve them. The gaujo disregard the simple principle of survival. We have to teach them these rules. The gaujos are blind and are creating irreversible catastrophic consequences that will soon destroy the environment and life on this planet in which we live.
     The gaujo have to learn to properly dispose of the many chemical poisons they have created. Life will be at risk. We gypsies have to learn to cohabit peacefully with the gaujo and to convey to them these simple rules of survival.”
       During the nights he spent in meditation, he was aware of the imperious commanding voice of the Forest’s Spirit Mother asking him to be the peacemaker and raise awareness into the Gaujo’s and make them understand the need to save the environment to preserve the life in the world.
.      It was after this long period of meditation that he finally came to conclusion that he would live the gypsy’s life, but not in the archaic way. He would talk to the gaujos and make them love more what nature offered and discover the necessity to preserve it for future generations, in the way that he had learned from the wisdom of his people.    
      That has been the Gypsy’s credo for a millennium. It was time for all to learn how to love and preserve Earth and receive those magnificent gifts that nature donates to us in every day of our life.
~*~

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