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Windjammer Holidays

Good morning everyone. The holiday season has arrived in Camden with snow and a chilly northwest wind. St Nicholas Day was Saturday the 6th and the patron saint of children arrived by boat in the harbor. He also visited our house Saturday night where the kids had left their shoes by the door. So much for sleeping in Sunday morning.

Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors. He is also the patron saint of some less savory characters but that paradoxical twist only gives credence to the saint who looks after those of us who chose to put to sea for a living. As the story goes, Nicholas was a sailor aboard a ship caught in a storm and his prayers for relief from the tempest were answered. After arriving at the island of Myra Nicholas went straight to the nearest church to give thanks. One church elder had a vision that a man named Nicholas would arrive that day to become the new bishop and despite his young age he fit the vision and well… tag, your it! Nicholas continued to inspire his followers and many miracles were attributed to his work. A far as I am concerned the miracle is still with us as any of you who have seen a young child at the holidays know.

We took to the woods yesterday to get our fir tree and leave gifts for the woods on our favorite “giving” tree. This year we hung oranges, apples, crusts of Mary’s bread (a blessing for sure!), and pine cones rolled in bacon lard and bird seed. Having a wooden boat certainly gives one an appreciation for any living tree. I especially marvel at the red oaks and the white pines (both types found in Mary Day’s construction) stretching up 40 or 50 or 60 feet and without a limb for the first 20 feet. I will never see the boards from these trees but that matters not. I never saw the trees 40+ years ago that were already 60+ years old when they were cut. So one miracle of the season is the miracle of time… time with friends and family, time walking in the woods choosing just the right tree, time relaxing aboard a windjammer and knowing how those simple acts stretch backwards and forwards in ways that are not as tangible as a schooner. It is all good and I hope your holiday season is filled with the goodness of saint Nicholas.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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