"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
Saturday, June 2nd was my youngest brother’s 19th birthday. I’m so glad that he was here to celebrate it! I decided to take him, my dad, and J to the Scottish Highland Games for the day.
The Games are held on the first weekend of June and my family has attended them off and on since I was a toddler. It’s one of my favorite events of the summer.
There’s haggis to be eaten.
Bag pipes to hear.
And crazy unusual feats of strength to watch.
My family has traced back their Scottish heritage to Clan Gunn, something my brothers and I take great pride in. One of my brothers has our clan crest tattooed on his arm, I have it tattooed to my ribcage, and DJ, the youngest, wears the crest on a chain around his neck. Going to the Games has been a way to reconnect with our family’s rich history, the next best thing to traveling to Scotland!
We arrived at Hovander Park where the Games are held each year. The first stop my dad wanted to make was to check out the souvenir tents where vendors were selling their Scottish-themed wares. He tried to be sneaky and pick out gifts for DJ and I. We wanted lazily through the tents and browsed over beautiful jewelry, heavy Claymores, and tartan scarves. J and I wandered off together every now and then through the various tents.
Soon enough everyone’s tummies were rumbling with hunger and haggis was on our minds. Haggis, as I understand it, is sheep intestine filled with a sausage-like mixture and doused with a bit of gravy. Gluten-free it is not, but quite tasty just the same so I endured the tummy-ache. We also had to make our way to the beer garden so the guys could indulge in a pint of Scotch Ale and I could sip a glass of wassail.
My dad was soon back to shopping so DJ, J and I wandered off again. We found one of the smaller fields where men were throwing bales with pitchforks over a bar set 27 feet high. Some women were nearby a pitching 28 lbs kettle bell weights over a similar bar. It was wild, really! And before too long they started the tabor toss. I wish I knew more about this, I couldn’t understand how the point system works for hurling an object that looks 1/4 the height and half the width of a telephone pole. Those ladies were strong, that’s all I know!
Then it was back to the beer garden to wet our whistles again and evade the warm sun while the pipe bands massed for closing ceremonies. The came marching out onto the Great Field like a kilt-clad army! And my heart thrilled at the pipes. Each tune I know well and it stirred a sense of pride for being part of this somehow – keeping my heritage alive.
The most important part? DJ enjoyed his birthday thoroughly! Happy 19th little brother!