Every Wednesday morning, everyone at Friends School of Minnesota gathers for Meeting for Worship. Sometimes our Meeting is “unprogrammed” and we sit quietly in community, perhaps feeling moved to speak from the silence. More often, we provide a query to help focus this time of reflection.

Queries might be simple: “When have I been a good friend?” or “What does courage mean to me?” Often students or staff read a poem or reflect on a Quaker value to frame the query.

This was my query for a November middle school Meeting for Worship: 

We are about half way between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. We typically understand the equinox as the day that the day and night are as close in length as possible and the Winter Solstice as our shortest day of the year, or the longest night.

In Minnesota, we tend to have some pretty short days in the winter which means that our moods may get gloomier as we see less of the sun. Other people embrace the cold of our winters and cherish the night sky and a chance to see the Northern Lights. Some will miss the leaves crunching under their feet while others are happy to finally be done raking.

We all accept, or resist, the changing seasons differently.

For me, each season has it’s lower-points: Spring tends to be a bit muddy and unpredictable; Summer is quite hot; Fall means less and less sun when I wake up; Winter means shoveling and slow driving.

Each season also has it’s high-points: Spring has new growth and more sun; Summer is the time to tend to the garden and to get up north; Fall is when nature gets ready for a nap and finally cools down; Winter is the time for white snowflakes to cover everything in sight and to find comfort in bundling up for warmth.

There is something that I treasure about each season and I’m always looking forward to what the next season will bring. Our climate in Minnesota, even when we are buried in snow, blesses us with four very distinct seasons. Sometimes change can be difficult and the transitions aren’t always the nicest from one season to the next, and the weather can be a bit extreme, but I always love that we have such a strong cycle – one that allows time to pass with a variety of backgrounds to our outdoor time. These changes help ground me in “the now”.

How do the seasons shape you? Are there certain seasons that help center you or energize you more than others? How so?