The roots of Thanksgiving 2020 run deep.
Four hundred years deep.
In 1620, 102 passengers sailed from England for what those travelers hoped would be a better life.
Sixty-six days of adversity later, they made landfall in a new world, still far from their intended destination.
As History.com tells us, it took another month for what we now call the Pilgrims to arrive at Plymouth Rock where they would build a village, but not after a harsh winter that left half of them dead.
Still, a year later, thanks first to two English-speaking Native Americans, one of whom who had escaped slavery, the other a trader, and then to an alliance forged with the Wampanoag tribe, those voyagers celebrated a good first harvest with those who made it possible for them to survive their brutal first year.
That three-day fall feast of plenty and company that sprung from adversity and necessity has come to be called the first Thanksgiving.
The holiday is still celebrated with food and family.
And it is still celebrated no matter the year that has come before it for there usually still is much for which to be thankful.
This year has been a rough one for many of us.
The pandemic has run roughshod over our lives, affecting the physical health of too, too many; the mental and economic health of many, many more.
It’s been a year of storms, both natural and political.
But still, here we are.
And we are thankful.
Thankful that the brunt of the storms, both literal and political, have passed us by.
Thankful for our health care professionals here in Southwest Florida who sacrificed so those of us physically affected have had care. Quality care.
Thankful for all of the retail, wholesale and warehouse workers as well all of our supply-chain first responders, including truckers and the Florida National Guard. They have managed to keep shelves stocked with all those things we take for granted — toilet paper and hand sanitizer, yes, but also test kits and life-saving medical supplies.
Thankful for all of those who have put themselves at risk to care for our kids — the daycare workers, the teachers and school staffers, the camp crews and the after-school providers.
Thankful for the multiple organizations and volunteers within our community that have made sure there is holiday fare and fixings available for those in need, and even a free meal to share.
Thankful that while the actual gatherings around our own tables may be limited by choice or circumstance, we have found ways to stay connected with those we love, with those we miss.
We are sure there are more things we have missed.
Stay safe, take care.
And may your holiday be a good one no matter how you chose to mark it this year.