Every year since 1961, the Wall St. Journal has published this account of the Pilgrims on Thanksgiving. I've always enjoyed it and I hope you do, too.
For more about William Bradford and the Pilgrims, see https://plymrock.org/tag/william-bradford/
So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had
been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were
pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but
lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared
for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.
When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things
ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after
them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their
leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with
friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of
true Christian love.
The next day they went on board, and their friends with them,
where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear
what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush
from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other’s heart, that sundry of
the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from
tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus
loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all
with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto
the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they
took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of
Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before
them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to
entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to
seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the
winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and
fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown
Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate
wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them
there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes
(save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect
of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance
with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets,
represented a wild and savage hew.
If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they
had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the
civil parts of the world.