By now, as many of you know, Pennsic has been postponed again until 2022, due to the ongoing pandemic. For many of us, this news is disheartening, as Pennsic plays such a large role in how we play in the SCA here locally. We miss our friends, we miss the camaraderie of the fields of honor, we miss hugs and campfires, and being surrounded by 10,000 of our closest friends. It seems at times, our souls are frayed with the longing of it.
Take heart, Debatable Lands…. We are still here. We are still a community.
We know that this past year, and even before that, has been full of challenges – and the pandemic has just been one. Our personal lives have changed dramatically, in ways that only you personally can know and understand. Our hobby, like most of the world, has endured the rough edges of social awakening, in all its forms. We’ve seen each other’s words, and have spoken words, online and in social media, that stem from pain, and cause pain. Our humanity has been on display, in every facet. It’s difficult. So difficult. And we’ve felt it, too.
But, Debatable Lands… We are still here. We are still neighbors.
The edges may feel bruised right now, but the core – the very core – of what makes our hobby so amazing endures. Courtesy. Honor. Shared Passions. Camaraderie. Joy. Our challenges cannot shake them. They cannot be erased. We are still here.
We remember Baroness Hilda’s first event. A small 30-ish person schola in Highland Park. She took a class by Master Dani on medieval counting, learned what Troll was, and pasties. She was offered a seat on a cloak at a bardic circle and made dear friends. We can still have these events.
We remember the day Baron Brandubh chose his SCA name. It means “black raven” in Gaelic. And he wanted a wolf on his heraldry until we joined Mistress Elsbeth’s Laurel staff, and spent hours and hours in her basement, absorbing all things heraldry and making lifelong friends, and discovering jicama. We remember, too, the day he attained Grand Master Bowman, the swelling of pride and accomplishment. Our interest groups can still meet.
We remember the day the Brewer’s Guild opened that oak cask of aged, redacted 14th century mead to bottle, from under Master Tofi’s stairs – the smooth, perfect taste of it, the feeling of shared appreciation, the laughter of friends brought together. We can still research our passions and share in the joy of it.
We remember the day we saw our first tourney – the raw feeling of it just below the surface of the type of chivalry we thought only existed in storybooks. The violence and speed and beauty of our athletes giving primal life to our ideals of honor. Those ideals and feelings of chivalry are alive and well and are still burning bright in our hearts. And very soon, we will be able to bring that to external realization again. Soon.
We remember our first SCA campfire, the cold, still air meeting the warm light of the fire, songs and conversation and laughter ringing into the night, our bellies warm with drink and friendship. We can still meet with our friends over a campfire.
We know you have had experiences just like these, and countless others. Remember them. Recreate them in all the old and new forms that are available to us today.
They Joys and Passions of the SCA do not live on the fields and in the camps of Pennsic. They live in US. No one place is the SCA. WE are the SCA.
We Are Still Here.
In Levitate et Caritate, and Cheers,
Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilda
And Ad Gloriam Aethelmearc, and SALVE ACCOLENS!