My maiden name is MacDonald, I am a second generation American and my paternal grandparents were from Nova Scotia and did not refer to themselves as Canadians but as Scots. Oddly enough this was the first time I attended the Highland Games, I have never been to Canada but I did learn Scottish Country Dancing as a kid.
Two of my nieces and my nephew participated in the games. The girls danced (and placed) and the fine lad piped his way to a first place finish with his band. I would say that I am a participant of life. It was a challenge and at the same time relaxing to take it in as a spectator. I am already thinking about next year and wondering how I can join in.
Our arrival in the early morning met us with a chilly mountain air. The girls were up first dancing with the wind at their backs and a young lady on the pipes. The Highland fling is just one of the dances that they competed in wearing matching kilts. Two of the other dances are the Sword and the Scottish Lilt. Pipe and drums compete in grades and perform in massed bands. The sites and sounds are just a part of the culture of these clans from Scotland.
At some point I ran off to get a progr'm. Half way through the day I wrote the following that probably best describes my reflection on my day at the games:
"Never too old to dance, to pipe, to drum, to embrace your heritage, to know the history of your people." CM