This weekend, I am going to be in Avacal to witness the birth of a new kingdom. This pleases me on several levels:
1) I super-duper love to travel. Every year that goes by without a plane trip just makes me sad inside. This summer, I will have two such trips, one north (Alberta, Canada) and one south (San Antonio, Texas), both for ‘geeky’ reasons but very, very different. And very, very awesome.
2) I’m bearing witness to the making of SCA history. Or, as I like to cheekily call it, meta-history. Sometimes things in life have a certain heaviness to them, a unique weight, and this feels like one of those.
3) I’m literally going to be a lady-in-waiting the entire time. I’ll spend a couple hours waiting on Her Royal Highness of An Tir, and the rest of the weekend in the shadow of Her Excellency, the Baroness of Glymm Mere. As I have spent the better part of the last year, and will spend two more.
Now, I want to talk some more about #3. To some, this might seem like a drag. Even I will admit I have my occasional moments of wondering what the hell I’m doing; I’m a grown-ass woman who is fetching and carrying things for a person who, outside of this game, is my equal. Is my friend.
But. This game. Oh, how I love this game. I love the pageantry, I love the pomp, I love the ritual. I love raising people up to have something to revere. I love our pretend little world where I might be a station below but I am always respected.
Also, I must admit, it helps me practice humility and patience, which, even at age 35, is a good and needed thing. (When I was a child, my mother used to turn up her nose at my shrillness and say ‘Patience is not one of your virtues.’ She was not wrong.)
It helps that I truly love the people I’m serving: They have been friends for years, they are part of my household, part of the Barony I have called home for most of my time in the SCA, and they have taken on this burden. It’s the least I can do to carry a chair once in a while, to make sure he has water and she has sunscreen on.
When I am a lady-in-waiting, I feel connected to the game, connected to history, and connected to my friends. I find that it does bond you together, as it surely did in history: You are both stuck in your stations, and stuck together. And there are times, like this weekend (as she’s my ride to the airport and we’re sharing a hotel room), where you are literally constant companions. It is a hell of an experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world
So here’s to service, here’s to the dream, and HERE’S TO THE NEW KINGDOM OF AVACAL! Huzzah!