Listening to my mom’s advice

Jan. 22, 2024 | Amelia Palacios, BHFH Program and Engagement Manager

A view from the deck at the Friends House, documented throughout the last year. First photo taken during the spring, second during the summer, third during the fall, and fourth during the winter.

Dear Friends,

It was high noon, and we had just driven halfway across the country from Southern California to the Land of A Thousand Lakes (Minnesota). As we unpacked all my things from our family’s Prius, my mom offered a nugget of wisdom, as mothers often do in moments of change. She suggested I document the seasons by taking a photo of the same place throughout the year.

With millions of thoughts running through my head, will I like my roommate? what will classes be like? what about winter? WINTER??, her advice didn’t sink in until long after she, my sister, and my dad bid me adieu. It was my first time moving, ever. It was a “Big Deal” and once they left, I felt it. One evening, amidst the whirlwind of new faces, new conversations, and new experiences, I took a stroll around the neighborhood and my mom’s advice came back to me. I picked a place as my marker of time, and a new tradition began.

I carried this tradition with me when I moved to Boston last year. And as we near the year marker of when I moved here, specifically to the Friends House, I wanted to share my ritual with you. For me, this ritual has helped me feel grounded as things change, as they always do. Has helped me feel connected to a sense of place when I feel uncertain of where I am, or where I am going. And, as someone who has, for the majority of my life, only experienced two seasons (hot and more hot), it gives me permission to find beauty in all of natures’ cycles, even winter.

My Year at the Friends House:

Winter: Learning the lingo, settling into chores, house meetings, dishwasher parties

Spring: Biking on the esplanade, brisk breakfasts in the courtyard, magnolia blooms

Summer: Riding all the T lines, pupusas at Revere Beach, house dinners on the deck

Fall: Moving across the river and bidding adieu to the Friends House as a Housie, biking to the Friends House for my new role as Program and Engagement Manager

Winter: Working in the sun soaked library at the Friends House, Green line commutes

After such a plentiful past year, I’m grateful for the moments where I can reflect on all that has passed and on what to carry forward into the future. If you feel led to share, I would love to hear about what rituals help you reflect on and mark the passage of time.

In community,

Amelia Palacios

Program and Engagement Manager

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