Last night's Na Sgeulaichean "The Storytellers" was a great success and tremendous fun. We had fiddle tunes, songs and stories aplenty along with homemade, vegan oatcakes (Thank you, Norma!), tea, coffee and other treats. We gave away an awesome basket of Gaelic goodies that alas, I didn't win, a 50/50 pot and a music CD. Doug and I weren't completely awful as emcees, and both Cathy and her daughters worked tirelessly before, during and after the event to make certain everyone else had a good time. Today, therefore, I am content.
I'm happy for another reason, as well. I didn't need the English story translations to understand them, and I spoke Gaelic at least a third of the night. I had a breakthrough moment about a month ago in my studies while listening to a band called Mànran. The song was "Latha Math", and it was all about a good day on the island and how great it was to be alive. I was halfway through listening to it for the first time when I realized I understood it, and when the realization hit me, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I had been slogging through my studies for a time; I admit, I was a little worn out. But as I started singing along to that song, a cascade of linguistic comprehension clicked into place in my brain, and suddenly the language was a little easier for me. Isn't it funny how the brain works?
I've been listening to Gaelic songs since my middle twenties, hoping that someday I would have enough Gaelic to understand and sing them. Now I'm on my way, and it's such an amazing thing to me. I'm so fortunate to have such a great Gaelic community here full of patient and enthusiastic teachers and tradition bearers. I could not have asked for a better place to call home.