By Sir Guillaume de la Belgique
At the end of the Middle Ages, the great thinkers of Western society began an outward expansion to uncover new lands and resources for the thriving sense of industry and liberty that were blooming in that time. This is a really high-brow way of saying that by the beginning of the 17th century, anyone with half a brain was trying to get the heck out of Europe. They sailed south and west, and they traveled east by caravan, to discover new cultures, new people and new lands - most of which were getting along just fine by themselves and were completely unaware that they were in need of 'discovery.'
In a similar vein, this morning begins an outward migration of a population that has happily called Pennsic home for the past week or two. Like those European explorers such as Columbus, Magellan, the Navigator formerly known as Prince Henry, De Soto, Mitsubishi, and Carl Sagan, as we all begin to break camp, we look to the road ahead with anticipation and uncertainty. Who knows what the coming year will bring?
The last day of Pennsic is always a bittersweet moment for me. I love all of my friends here (new and old) very much, but there are many friends at home, in Caid and in Calafia, who I've been missing for the past two weeks. Like an explorer turning for home, I look forward to bringing a little bit of this year's war back to my 'everyday' life with me - the only difference being that I'm returning home carrying T-shirts and new basket hilts, rather than gold, spices and tobacco.
The bubble of our magic Pennsic world cannot last forever. The battles are now fought, the shopping is shopped and the parties are all reveled out. We are too long, too far from home, and it is time to let the winds carry us away from Pennsic for another year. Fortunately smiles, laughter and friendship are the resources we take away from this land, and those cargoes can sustain us for the coming year, until it's time to begin another year of Pennsic history.
Wherever your journeys take you, you can always enjoy more of Guillaume's humorous stories about life in the SCA and his reflections on the concepts of chivalry, honor and ethics at his websites: