Another storm blew through Martha’s Vineyard last weekend, with cold rain and wind that drove even the hardiest Islanders indoors for hearth fires, soup making and steaming mugs of tea.

Oystering plans were put on hold, along with the third and final act of leaf raking before the holidays set in.

Migratory birds have mostly flown south by now, but this is nesting season for humans — at least on the Island where despite many changes through the decades, life still generally follows the rhythms of the natural world. When the sun shines high overhead, we are up early and outdoors doing things: fishing, hunting, gardening, biking, taking long walks with friends on beaches and woodland trails. When the days are at their shortest, morningtime turns to evening in the blink of an eye. And so we nest.

Thanksgiving is today. The winter solstice is three weeks from now.

Weather patterns this fall have been changeable, with rain and wind punctuated by sparkling days, mild temperatures and star-splashed inky night skies. It’s as if nature can’t get a hand on the tiller and set a steady course. So we roll with the ups and downs, hoping to not be stranded on the wrong side when they cancel the ferries — again.

Because whatever side you are on, making the ferry is one of the small things to be thankful for.

There were hundreds who did just that this week, traveling to the Island for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Vineyard will be bustling this weekend as family and friends gather, putting aside work and other responsibilities for just a few days to share meals, shop at artisans fairs and fall festivals, and enjoy each other’s company.

And with world and national news weighing so heavily these days, simple good company is the perfect antidote to the daily headline blast.

An item in the Gazette calendar announcing Tuesday pizza night at the Chilmark Community Church offers a perfect summation: “Pizza plus company. All welcome. All ages.”

Amen to that.

In a Thanksgiving essay published many years ago, the nature writer Hal Borland offered thoughts and mediation on the season of giving thanks:

I walked under the stars this evening, and I saw Orion, the Hunter, rising out of the East, and when I came back up the hill I saw that Aquila, the Eagle, was there in the West, over our own land. As I walked I thought of those things for which I am thankful. Of this land, which was big enough to encompass a great dream and make it reality. Of mountains and mines and woodlands and rivers, of farms and ranchlands and towns and cities. Of the men of this land, and the women, of their individual dreams; of their machines, their factories, their skill and ingenuity.

But men die, dreams pass, machines molder away. And I was thankful for the sunrise of a new day, for sunset, for work well done, and for rest. For the fragrance of honeysuckle in June, pinewoods in December, for starlight, for the rainbow. For friendship, for the laughter of a child, for the love and understanding of a woman’s heart. For the ideals which lift mankind out of bigotry; for freedom of the mind, of the spirit, and of aspirations; for adventure into far places of thought as well as far places of the universe.

I was thankful, too, that the grit of this land’s soil was between my teeth, the fever of its swamps was in the blood my grandfathers gave me, the bruise of its stones was on my feet. These things, too, are a part of my heritage. And of all these things I was thinking as I came up the hill, facing Aquila, the Eagle, in the western sky.

Sending out warm wishes to all Gazette readers near and far for a happy holiday weekend. Please stay safe on the roads, and remember to not drink and drive.