The very first thing that came to my mind was the song "Gypsy" by Fleetwood Mac, written by Stevie Nicks. I could hear her smokey, sometimes almost hoarse voice that I love so much, singing those beautiful lyrics, "to the gypsy that remains faces freedom with a little fear".
To the gypsy that is within all of us, often hidden away.
Somehow, gypsies belong to my childhood. The Roma people, who used to tour around the country in their trailers, making camp for a few days at the edge of a town, observed from the distance by the "decent" people, not welcomed, and finally seen with relief how they were leaving the area again. Whatever happened during that time - a break in, a car that disappeared from the street, stolen bicycles - was blamed on the gypsies. No one who talked about them had anything good to say.
They hold a big fascination for me. I tried to imagine their lives, envied their kids who did not have to go to school but could run around barefoot. I envied them for living in a trailer instead of a third floor apartment. In my eyes they were wild, free and had no worries. Their life was colorful and adventurous whereas mine was just plain boring.
Later, they disappeared more and more. Only seldom did a group of Roma make camp anymore.
I found them again in the book "Chocolat" by Joanne Harris. The theme of homelessness and traveling took stage in the movie "La Strada" by Federico Fellini, a movie that deeply touched me.
And then I found them again on another continent - the Bedouins in Egypt. They lived in tents in the desert. They had no steady home. They were curious. They were friendly. They offered us tea. They tried to sell their handmade jewelry, a meagre way to make some money.
I felt the same fascination as I did when I was a child.