Flourishing

I love flourishing. Maybe this is the best proof my family is from Scotland.

At any bagpipe band performance my eyes are transfixed on the tenor drummers and the wild gestures they do with the mallets… the flourishing. They spin them around and wave their arms in a choreographed dance.

A large group of us gathered together up at Simon Fraser University to listen and watch the SFU Pipe band with their final rehearsal before heading to Glasgow for the World Championship.

SFU Pipe band final rehearsal

SFU Pipe band final rehearsal

A few thoughts filtered through my mind as I watched the group practice…

1. How lucky we are to have this world class band right here in Vancouver. Some people wait months and years to hear them play and I only had a thirty minute drive that included a stop at Starbucks.

2. The band members look very different when not in their kilts.

3. Bagpipes sound perfect when played outside on the top of a mountain (even though these ones, played by the best in the world, would sound perfect almost anywhere.)

4. I do love flourishing.

5. I am blessed.

After the rehearsal, the band started to pack up their instruments and the audience milled about. Sitting on the grass, a little away from the group sat a tenor drummer. I almost walked by but stopped.

“When I watch the band play I always watch you… I think you’re the best… I’m a big fan of the flourishing.”

“Thanks…” then he gave a shrug, “Thanks for saying that.”

I could tell there weren’t too many of us flourishing fans around, and even less who admit it.

His name is Mike O’Neil.

You can watch him and the rest of the band compete next week at the World’s

You know what I’ll be watching.

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  • Tara

    What is it about flourishing that stirs the heart and draws a tear?

    • Ah Tara… of course it is the rousing sound of the pipes that pulls on my heart, maybe a reminder of this life and others spent in Scotland… but as for the flourishing, that is certainly my love of precision and showmanship. And especially with the SFU Pipe Band, as you know, they put on a very good show. And though he wasn’t at the rehearsal, Jason Paguio, the Drum Major is a thrill to watch!