Aquinnah at the break of dawn on the cusp of a new year is a talkative place. There are no people milling about, nor creatures stirring, at least not to be seen, and yet there is a lively conversation out there on the western edge of the Island as light arrives in the east.

The lighthouse shines, the waves roll onto the beach below and the wind whispers stories unique to each ear — stories about the past, present and future, grandiose and minor key. Such is the nature of the cliffs as another day deep in December begins.

Menemsha rolls out of bed a bit differently. A deer stands sentry by a row of mailboxes a few hundred yards from the harbor. It looks intently into the headlights as if caught delivering a letter it shouldn’t have. Rabbits scurry about and Station Menemsha is lit from within and without.

The jetty offers a different perspective on the water than the cliff’s edge of Aquinnah. Waves once distant now speak of more immediate needs, yet still unique to each inquiring ear. The lifeguard stand continues to say No to so many things — dogs, fires, nude bathing — but here in early winter this feels more like a gentle suggestion. After all, if one wanted to bathe nude at dawn in the icy Menemsha waters there would most likely be applause rather than recrimination.

Moving east, on the Agricultural Hall grounds, a gaggle of turkeys keeps a close watch on a solitary dog-walker. At a nearby farm, cows snuggle together, their bulk resting on the grass.

In Vineyard Haven, as the sky slowly brightens with blues and pinks, there is coffee available and the casual conversations of commerce. A trio of tourists roll their suitcases down Main street, turn toward the ferry and later head up the ramp while gulls hover above as if waving goodbye.

On the way to Oak Bluffs, a jogger dressed in shorts and a T-shirt crests the drawbridge at top speed, then slows down and eases to a walk.

Circuit avenue is as empty as the harbor. In the Camp Ground, houses are boarded up and porches empty, but these cottages don’t need people to prosper. They hold court while dressed in winter weary, gossiping the morning away as they have for centuries.

In Sengekontacket, a lone scalloper peers into his peep sight while another solitary figure paddles a canoe. State Beach gives way to the horizon as the sun inches higher in the sky. A man in pajamas practices dance moves on the beach, his arms raised, his feet nimble, as he kicks up sand along the shoreline.

At the Dock Street Coffee Shop in Edgartown, a man stands outside talking into his phone. He asks his friend how the blood work went and then listens intently, head bent low and shoulders hunched.

Inside, nearly all the stools are taken, the griddle hisses and the dishes clatter.

Back out on the water, the Chappy Ferry paces to and fro, creating ripples on the water.

Another year on the Island passes quietly into the distance, while a new one beckons from somewhere up ahead.