Something has to be said

Wearing the Hood of Love

Teary eyed baby Laurel wearing the Hood of Love

… even though I still don’t know what to say. I may write for a living, but still there are things I can’t really describe, not even after the event took place 2 weeks ago. But if I dont say anything about this, I can’t say much anything else either – hints on sewing button holes or telling about the side seams of a new dress seem quite trivial.

On the 2nd weekend of February, at the Midwinter Feast traditionally arranged by my canton, I was accepted as the member of the Order of the Laurel – I became a peer, a Mistress. The order (for those who aren’t necessarily that active in the SCA) is the highest award you can receive for arts and sciences. The 2 other equally ranking orders are the Order of Chivalry (for fighting) and the Order of Pelican (for service). *

Laurel scroll by Margaret of Walsingham

My Laurel scroll is made by Margaret of Walsingham (open in a new window for a slightly bigger image)

And still I can’t really talk about it. But I’ll try – be warned, though, that I may be using too many happy happy joy joy adjectives.

The whole weekend was – for lack of a better word – simply amazing. People had put so much effort into arranging everything behind my back: a cosy, rosy room with food and candles for my Friday night vigil (where I sat thinking whether to accept the invitation to join the order, and had visits from everyone who wanted to talk, give advice or just say hello), beautiful, well thought-out ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, touching speeches, presence of friends from near and far, letters from people who couldn’t be there, many many lovely gifts… Everything summed up to a sweet nirvana, leaving me all warm and fuzzy for a very long time. And of course I’m wondering how I can ever give back all the good I received!

Laurel and former apprentice

My own Laurel I was apprenticed to for years

Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of all the gifts I received because it didn’t cross my mind to take photos during the weekend (and now some of the gifts have already vanished, yum yum…). But I am more than happy to show them off when ever I have them with me: they are breathtaking, given with a lot of thought, often made by the giver. And who knows, maybe I will take some photos one of these days and put them up here?

Pretty pictures of the event exist though, here – thank you Ilona!

*This is how the peerages are described on the SCA web pages:
Bestowed Peers are those who, through talent, hard work, and long effort, have earned recognition for their contributions and skills. There are three of these peerage orders. Companions of the Order of Chivalry are Knights and Masters-at-Arms, fighters who have achieved great skill on the tourney field and are considered by the other members of the Chivalry to be models of prowess, chivalry, and honor. Companions of the Order of the Laurel are craftsmen and artisans recognized for their research and skill in crafts practiced during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and their willingness to teach those skills to others. Companions of Order of the Pelican are those whose service has made a great difference to the SCA. Companions include those who have run Society-wide publications, organized our largest events, held kingdom offices, and managed complicated finances.
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