Monday, December 15, 2008

A Sailors Christmas Tale

A Sailor's Christmas Tale

T'was the nite before Christmas and all through the boat not a sailor was stirring though tempests they blow…

The past year has been a wild and wonderful ride. Having never sailed before we jumped into our new life on January 7, 2008 with both feet and boy have we gotten wet. We have experienced much and in the process learned a great deal about the world we live in and ourselves. The reality of living on board a cruising sailboat is a far cry from the romantic images often portrayed at the end of a Hollywood movie or that seen in a Hallmark greeting card. Yet, the people we have met, the places we have visited, and the lessons we have learned living on the sea, we would not exchange.

At this Christmas season I am struck by the similarity of the Christmas message and the journey we have been on this past year. Like the simple message of Christmas the things we are learning to enjoy most are the very simplest. I am learning that what I desire most is not bigger and faster "stuff" but slower and deeper relationships. Sure we miss home on occasion and all the conveniences it provides but our conversations around the dinner table almost always focus on who we miss not what we miss. Not to say that I haven't longed for a big juicy Banzai Burger on occasion, even conch and lobster get old after a while, but mostly we miss each of you.

From the smell of jungle blossoms carried out to sea on the wind, being escorted by a pod of dolphins, diving with turtles, or sunrises and sunsets painted daily for us by our heavenly father, these are the things we are beginning to see with new eyes. Joseph Conrad wrote, "Everything can be found at sea, according to the spirit of your quest." We are learning that the sea is a hard task master. Not an unfair or vindictive teacher but one who is clearly unrelenting and yet consistent. We came to sea not in an attempt to take a prolonged vacation from life but in hopes of reconnecting with each other and life at a more basic and meaningful level.

Today as we wait for a weather window to sail the 550 plus miles from Belize up to Mexico and then across the Gulf of Mexico just north of Cuba to Key West Florida we wanted to pause and say thanks at this Christmas Season. Thanks for sailing along with us on this journey. Your thoughts, prayers and e-mails have meant the world to us over the last year and have made many days feel like Christmas for us.

Our prayer for all of us this Christmas, among all the fun and festivities of the season, is that we each take time to see each other with new eyes. Eyes that see ourselves and our world through the loving and grace filled multicolored lens of Christmas.

Merry Christmas,

Mark, Susan, Amy & Marshall

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