Knight Time

Like the robin in springtime, the medieval folk have returned.

It is the first sunny, warm Sunday following the winter, and the knights are in my backyard again.

This is not a metaphor. This is not a allegory. It is sunny. It is warm. There are knights with sword and shield and pike in my backyard.

Sort of.

When I say backyard, I mean the park next to my apartment complex, of which I have a panoramic view from my window.

And when I say knights, I mean guys and gals who like to dress up like them. With sword and shield and pike.These medieval enthusiasts, whose closets and garages must be overflowing with armor and tabards, tower shields and weapons of every variety (edges carefully blunted, of course) are even now arranging themselves in formations of three and four, rushing each other in a slow, graceful, martial choreography. They will do this every Thursday and Sunday when the weather allows, until winter sinks in its cold jaws again.

Quiet, lazy Sunday afternoons are, in my mind, forever associated with the rhythmic crack-crack-crack of wooden swords on wooden shields.

I am told, by visitors who happen to catch this spectacle, that it is a particularly surreal sight. They wonder that I do not gawk in confusion at it.

I tell them, No. Why would I? It is merely a sunny, warm Sunday. And the knights are in my backyard again.

Article © 2008 by Steve Spotswood