Sure you could knock me over with a feather but they decided to use the whole bird!
(Note: My apologies to my non-SCA readers for this post. This one would be extremely complicated for me to put into a non-SCA context. If you read it and get it, you should join the organization. If you read it and don’t get it that’s okay, we’re kind of complicated at times.)
Once again I have fallen behind on my posts, but once again I have a good reason. So there.
The past three weekends has simply been one of those runs of SCA events that I had to be at for one reason or another. This is perfectly fine, I wanted to be at all those events. They were fun. But it is tiring to plan for all of them and get through them and it doesn’t leave a lot of time to think or write about anything.
So the first weekend was The Perfectly Period Feast, an event designed around creating a medieval feast as authentically as possible. I was involved by creating the website for the event which you should check out as there is a lot of fabulous information there. I was also involved in that I arranged some of the entertainment, specifically three Commedia del’Arte scenes with myself and three other actors.
Then there was Whiteshield which was to be my last Baronial event as the ruling Baron of Darkwood. I wrote about that already so no real need to go into much detail other than to say that it turned out to be a fabulous day with lots of great tourney fighting, a wonderful feast and the opportunity for us to give out a lot of awards and gifts to the people who made our four and half years wonderful. My wife Rose and I maintained a perfect record of making sure that at least one person cried at every event we gave out awards at. Cried in a good way because we got them and surprised them with the perfect things.
Rose was very proud of that.
And this past weekend was March Crown where we actually gave up the office to our successors. The ceremony was simple but rather amazing. The populace of Darkwood came into court behind us. We knew they were walking in, and we knew there were a lot of them, but when we turned around they were kneeling in rows upon rows upon rows. They filled the entire space and it was amazing to see them like that.
As Rose said “There are thousands of them!” Which got a good laugh.
The party afterwards was wonderful. Lots of people, lots of food, lots of fun. We sat around the fire and told stories and made s’mores which we call Schmoes because we like to use fancy chocolates and because Rose remembers that joke from Toy Story.
I pride myself on being pretty hyper aware of the things that go on around me largely as a result of my magic studies which include reading people, their body language and so on. So it was doubly amazing when the entire group of them got together and handed us presents which they had made and which I had no idea was being done at all. We had no expectations of such generosity and they didn’t exactly surprise us with their generosity because they are a wonderful and generous barony. But they had done something and managed to sneak it past us. Me in particular so I have to give them props for that.
Rose and I received haversacks containing various goodies. On Rose’s was the Darkwood Oak and when you opened it there was a flamingo embroidered on it. Yeah, not exactly medieval but she loves her flamingos and everyone knows it. Inside she got a jar of preserved lemons, some Peeps (which she also loves), and a handmade wire woven bracelet.
On mine was the Darkwood Castle and when you opened it there is a red dragon embroidered on it, a sort of totem creature for me. Inside I also got a jar of preserved lemons (I love lemon), some homemade fudge from one of my friends who knows exactly how I like it and makes it perfectly, and another handmade wire woven bracelet. We were also given a hand sculpted red dragon to go along with everything else.
It was a wonderful day, and a wonderful party.
And of course our successors have stepped up now and they are already planning and doing amazing things. We couldn’t be more proud.
Everything could have stayed like that and I would have counted the weekend a total success. But there was one more surprise to come for me.
After the Peerage meetings were over Their Majesties held me back. This is, of course, giant clue #1 and all I really needed in order to know what was coming, especially in light of who was standing there to witness the events at hand. I’ve heard of people being surprised by this but I don’t really know how.
His Majesty took off his Pelican Medallion. Call this giant clue #2. I could potentially see how someone might not catch this clue either. For me it’s painfully obvious because I watch people’s hands all the time. Hands give away a lot of clues, not just in what they are doing or holding, but in how they move.
This does not in any way diminish the fact that being offered admittance to The Order of The Pelican was still something that completely floored me. Yes, I wasn’t kidding when I said you could have knocked me over with a feather. I teared up immediately. Hell I’m tearing up just a bit writing this.
This is one of those “long time in coming” sorts of moments that the SCA brings and drops in our laps every once in a while. A perfect moment in time.
But I always knew that if I was ever to be offered this particular thing that before I could properly accept it I needed to ask a question. My wife has been a member of this order for a long time. And I know what kind of a standard she upholds. So when I was offered I had to ask her if she thought that I was ready.
She said “yes.”
So here I am now making plans for how and when I am going to do the actual ceremony. I have decided to do this at Beltane in the last court of Their Majesties Ob and Ascelin. As the royals who made the offer I find it fitting.
I have reached out to a handful of people to be a part of the ceremony as part of my procession, people to stand and witness, and people to speak for me. My plans moving along and that makes me happy. It’s becoming real now.
Yeah, they could have knocked me over with a feather, but they did use a whole damn bird!