Story from Pennsics past.
So this is a writeup I did for something I saw, so pardon if it reads like an article as it was written as such:
So no shit there I was, it was Pennsic like 32 if I recall right.
I was in the food court, nearish to the houses at the breadbowl. Or rather, I was on line for a breadbowl. It was raining, drizzling really. But a constant misty drizzle. The kind that made you hunch your shoulders up because it was just chilly enough to set your skin shivering.
But there I was, feeling cold, and hungry and wanting very much to have my bread bowl of hot beef stew and be under one of the eating tents with my friends. I was in nothing but harem pants and a rough doublet (my normal attire when either very hot or very wet at pennsic. That is until my shoulders got too big for most of my doublets) feeling like it was the most miserable thing to have to wait for food and be wet and chilly.
So as I waited I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a warrior coming off the battlefield. Common sight at pennsic save that the warrior had very nice armor. Late period White Armour but done in gun-blued steel. The warrior was a woman (the armour shaped for her, but gender isn't really relevent to the theme and only put here to help paint a picture), confirmed when she took off her helm. Short reddish hair framed a flushed face. Obviously she'd just come from the battlefield.
But it wasn't to food or drink that she walked. She headed straight to the small shrine of Saint Gabriel that was nearby at the Society of St. Gabriel. She stood before it a moment before she laid down her shield. Laid her sword and helm atop it. And there, in the misty rain and sludgy pennsic mud-clay she knelt before St. Gabriel. Bowed her head, folded her hands, and prayed.
The rain sort of beaded on the armour and made her hair cling to her face. She knelt there a long moment. Long enough that her skin cooled from the pink flush of battle. Long enough that the few lines for food nearby sort of went quiet and turned to watch.
Long enough for a young man in nothing but harem pants and a rough doublet to feel silly for feeling cold, and hungry. Long enough for him to relax his shoulders and understand that that is what is meant to be in service to something bigger than oneself.
It's not being subservient to a thing, but to elevate a thing to where you deem it worthy to serve. To do it willingly knowing you can turn away, but you don't because that thing helps build you up and want to become part of it.
After a time she rose. She picked up her helm, her shield and sword and she strode off. She didn't turn to look at the quiet crowd. She just walked off through the rain.
The lines started to move again, and eventually we all got our food and we all rejoined our friends and family. But I think everyone who saw what we did walked away with a different perspective on Pennsic and the events happening around them for having been given a glimpse at the dream that every SCAdian is striving for