Yesterday we made our yearly pilgrimage to the Bristol Renaissance Faire
. We went this year with a group from church since it is always fun to dress up and go with friends. This faire in one of the largest in the nation and is located in a permanent village on the Illinois/Wisconsin border. There are of course tons of shops selling everything from swords, costumes, and jewelry to flying broomsticks, pet griffins, and chainmail bikinis. But there is also all sorts of entertainment. We've seen the joust, sword fights, and mud show enough times, so we now go to watch the musical groups (a bagpipe and drum troupe, lute and flute troubadours, Celtic harpists, and hammered dulcimer players) perform throughout the day. The woodland fairies are always fun to watch (including a faun this year) and there's a new acrobatic group that did amazing fire stunts. And then there is the food. Fish and Chips, turkey legs, veggies tempura, cheese balls, crepes, gelato... not exactly period food, but seriously yummy nonetheless. Oh and did I mention the honeymead...
Anyway, we of course always enjoy the Faire, but this was also Emma's first year to really get it. She loved it. From playing in the Kid's Kingdom (a castle and pirate ship complete with Faire actors playing games and telling stories for the kids) to watching the jugglers and stiltwalkers, Emma had a fantastic time. I mean, she got to dress as a Fairy Princess, carry a wand around all day (we are still trying to get her to say Wingardium Leviosa
), play with fairies and Knights, dance to fun music, and eat ice cream - what more could a toddler want. What's funny is that I really don't know if she understands that the Faire isn't normal. Of course it was a special day, but what really would be strange about running into princesses, fantasy creatures, and castles to her? It happens all the time on Dora. Yesterday it just finally happened to her.
So we had a very happy Emma at the Faire. Especially when she got to dance. My favorite part of the Faire has always been the drum circle that occurs at the end of the day.
Out on the great lawn, it is a primal dance to the wild beat of drums. I always find it to be a worshipful experience full of uninhibited expression. Emma apparently felt the same way. She joined the dance with the passion and frenzy only a two year old can have. In that moment she represented an expression of perfect joy in life. Now that is true worship.
In all it was a good day at the Faire.