Growing up in a rural community of West Glenville, New York (just outside of Schenectady in upstate New York), we had our share of weather. Our winters started with blustery October storms that would drop four to six inches of snow every other week. A white Halloween was common most years. This of course took away from the fun of people trying to guess who I was Trick-or-Treating because my costume was covered with layers of coats.
The snow would keep mounting and pilling up, most years adding up to mountains taller than me. The final snowfall would undoubtedly come in early May, after a week of sun and balmy 50-degree days. Essentially, snow was our way of life for half the year.
So when I heard people say, “April showers bring May flowers,” I would immediately think “You must not live in the Northeastern United States.” It took me a while to figure out that what they were expressing was not the literal meaning, but they were speaking metaphorically.
They were looking for that sense of life that sometimes escapes us in times of tragedy and challenge. They were talking about hope. Yes, it is true, they were tired of the snow, rain, and subsequent mud. They wanted some signs of life and something to cling to that showed them that better days were coming. They were yearning for assurance of hope when we feel it is lost, not unlike where we are now in our world.
At the end of April 2021, we are still searching for signs of hope. We have been struggling in our own ways, neck-deep in challenging thoughts and situations brought on by a pandemic we never saw coming. As we inch forward through time, and the spring environment opens up around us, we see glimmers of the sun peeking through the clouds. Our world is changing.
You may start to:
- Feel the flutters of warmth that touch our faces and arms as the world warms up.
- See the earth opening to welcome new growth of life. Feeling it shift and see it grow right before our eyes.
- See people moving in directions toward working together.
- Notice our own behaviors moving into a mindset of being a little more flexible in how we approach life and difficult situations.
- We may no longer see that we are islands, but rather individuals that can help our fellow humans by living smart and living for the betterment of the community.
THAT is what April showers bring. It brings hope. When you walk down the street or go into a store or perhaps are waiting to be seated at your favorite restaurant, try to look around and say "hi" or give a friendly nod to a stranger.
Friendliness, compassion, and little gestures of hope are all our world needs to transition from the rainstorms (or snowstorms) of April to the brilliant sun shining days of May. These spring days can bring an array of floral smells that generate smiles from the very young to the seasoned adult.
Without the April rain, the flowers cannot grow. Flowers need sun and rain to find their way into the new world. Hope requires the appreciation of our struggles to find its way into our hearts. May the days of May bring you joy and laughter.
Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. That is the 3C way.
With compassion, kindness, and appreciation.
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