The Mayflower

Welcome to 2020
For the first photo of 2020, I played once more with my lightbox, mainly because the weather, and a head cold, made going outside less desirable. In a way, it’s an appropriate thing to be shooting anyway, as 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing to Plymouth, Massachusetts. On board the ship were 102 souls, of whom about half made it through the first year. I am descended from about 20 of those survivors, and so my interest in the Mayflower story.
The image this week is of the Mayflower – a scale model given to me by a friend years ago. The 102 folks crowded onto the ship were living in very crowded quarters, between decks no less, and were warned not to go on deck as the seas were often rough. Being a true Curry relative, one of my ancestors ignored that warning and went overboard, but fortune and good reflexes allowed him to grab a trailing halyard, and the crew managed to pull poor John Howland back aboard the boat. Another of my ancestors almost ended the trip for everyone when he, a teenager, was found smoking in the hold – sitting atop a keg of gun powder! The Billington family were perhaps not the best to model oneself after. I’m also descended from the spiritual leader of the group – William Brewster – and from a man who actually had come to the so-called New World before, Stephen Hopkins, who was actually a settler in Jamestown, Virginia.
So, 2020 will be a year to look back at our collective past, and celebrate the plucky entrepreneurial spirit that drove those 102 folks to look for a better life. May we all remember that the US and Canada are and always have been nations settled by immigrants, who came here looking for a chance at a good life. The Mayflower Pilgrims actually even got along pretty well with their indigenous neighbours for quite some time, just as many settlers who came to Canada did here. Let’s hope 2020 brings back some of the spirit of acceptance and accommodation that our ancestors had and were met with.
Here’s to a memorable, peaceful and prosperous New Year!