Ever since I can remember, the first Sunday in August has been the Highland Games.
I’ve remembered it too late to schedule it in over recent years, or we’ve been busy, but this year we made it. We packed up both godfamiles, and off we all went for an afternoon out in the gorgeous sun. There wasn’t a spot of humidity anywhere, and there was a decent breeze, thank goodness.
HRH wore his kilt — of course — and Liam wore the tiny kilt that my grandfather got for me from Edinburgh when I was a wee little thing. They stopped a lot of traffic.
Liam loved the massed bands; he loved the drums and the pipes (not a surprise at all, considering his heritage and the cousins who play both); he loved all the dogs he saw; he smiled at and charmed just about everyone he met. He reached for a total stranger to cuddle with her, but it was fine, because it turned out that she was the wife of one of the members of Salty Dog, a local Celtic band that HRH used to hang out with lo these many years ago. And she was more than happy to cuddle him a bit before heading off to the beer tent where the band was striking up. He absolutely was not interested in napping, or eating that much; too much to see! to do! to hear! The one thing he wasn’t happy about was the cannon that was part of the opening ceremonies. He’d been fine through the display of musketfire, but when they fired the cannon he was looking the other way. The sudden sharp sound surprised him more than anything else, so there was a bit of angry crying. But after he’d cuddled with each of us and had a bit more milk, he was fine and interested in the bands marching onto the field.
I came home with badly sunburned shoulders, despite the amount of sunscreen I slathered on before departure. But apart from that, it was a wonderful wonderful day, one of the best I’ve had in a while. The massed bands at the opening ceremonies were, as always, worth the $10 admission fee alone. And it felt really special to bring my son to his first games, as I’d been brought to too many to count while growing up.
In essence, Brigid is a goddess of transformation, and smiting is perhaps the clearest example of this.
What, me, annoyed at something? Why do you ask? (Or perhaps that ought to be “still annoyed at something”, or “more of a similar something”.)
Smite is such a lovely word. Of Germanic origin, you know, giving us our Anglo-Saxon word “smith”, meaning “to hit”. Lots. Against something hard. Perhaps I will begin using this word more frequently. As in, “Move or I will smite you.” Or, “Stop telling me you know me better than I do, relative stranger, or there will be smiting.” Or perhaps, “Say one more thing about how I work — or worse, should work — and you will find yourself smitten.”