One of my happy spring memories is the fact that my mom was so involved in school activities. She was the PTA chairperson and the editor of the school newsletter. One year, it was entitled “Spring is sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where the flowers is.” (Author listed as “anonymous.”) So typical of my mom, my wondrous role model, it was silly and frivolous and misspelled.
Like my mom, I question the weather this spring. After a mild winter, some of March’s days have been among the coldest. Just when I began to dig out the softest sweaters and brilliantly colored spring clothes, the darker, winter colors arose again. It is difficult to wear a bright, multi-colored butterfly shirt when it is ten degrees outside.
Just when the daffodils started to push through the ground with their hint of yellow cheerfulness, the cold weather teasingly halted them in their tracks. When I should be smiling at a beautiful flower, it is but a smudge in the ground.
Spring can be a lot of work! With the recent windy days, the last vestiges of dead leaves have fallen from the trees, creating piles reminiscent of October. Like in the fall, they have to be raked up. Brown leaf bags, some of them marked “Benny’s,” line the streets the day before trash pickup.
Spring holidays of Passover and Easter offer get-togethers, time to catch up and renew bonds with family and friends. During this special time, please treat these relationships as happy opportunities, symbols of the newness and rebirth experienced every spring. Let differing opinions simply be pieces of the puzzle, diverse shapes that come together to make the whole. May no one piece overwhelm the rest, but listen respectfully to what is in everyone else’s heart (even though it may vehemently disagree).
Please strive to accept every participant at these events. Praise your sister for her apple pie, even though the crust is dry and the apples are hard. Listen to old Uncle Larry as he repeats his stories about World War II. Smile and hug Great-Aunt Sarah even though she doesn’t use deodorant and smells badly. Provide inclusion and affection to cousin Abby who is severely developmentally delayed and often ignored. Like spring itself, these get-togethers offer the renewal of relationships, relationships that are not everlasting, but, like the spring, will eventually fade away in winter.
Please be kind this spring. Your heart will be happier for it.