April Showers Bring May Flowers

On two consecutive days during Passover, I went for walks with my younger daughter, who is 6 1/2. The first one was after dinner on a beautiful evening. We stopped to look at the flowers blooming throughout the neighborhood, and I took lots of pictures of them and her. It was (literally) a picture-perfect spring evening. The next day was colder and very rainy; a great day to stay inside. My daughter, however, had other ideas and asked to go on a “rain walk.” I couldn’t resist, and she had a blast hopping in the puddles on the sidewalk as we both got soaked.

Although these two walks took place at the very end of March, they brought to mind the well-known saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Having just witnessed the beauty from the evening before, we knew that the rain would help more flowers grow in the weeks ahead. Cloudy and rainy days are necessary to get to the beauty that waits for us when the skies clear.

The COVID-19 pandemic—15 months and counting—has often felt like a nonstop rainstorm. We’ve been forced to alter our behaviors and activities; we’ve stayed home and done everything we could to stay safe. But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been able to find joy, goodness, and wonderful moments even while getting soaked.

Those walks with my daughter reminded me that we have the choice to make the most of each day, regardless of the weather or the circumstances. It wasn’t hard to head out for a quick walk on that beautiful, warm evening. The next day, when the easier (and drier) choice was to stay inside, I could have convinced my daughter not to go out in the rain, but I am so glad that I didn’t. Kids have a way of finding or creating fun moments where adults don’t see them. If we had stayed home, I would have missed seeing the joy in her face as she splashed from one puddle to the next, and we would not have this memorable shared experience, something we will both cherish for years to come.

In so many ways, we have made the best of these rainy days. In my realm, youth education and programming, we have seen continued involvement from our teens throughout the entire pandemic. Our Zoom programs and events, whether social, educational, or social justice focused, have kept our youth connected. We also have found small breaks—and joy—during the metaphorical downpours through outdoor, socially distanced, in-person events like WHECTY’s outdoor movie last fall and the Drive-Thru Purim Carnival they helped to organize and run in March.

Unexpected joy during the pandemic has not been limited to our teens. We have worked hard to bring interesting programs and opportunities to you—wherever you are. And you have shared that, while you miss seeing your WHC clergy and friends in person, it is a pleasure not to have to fight traffic or search for parking. Furthermore, the convenience of “Zooming in” from your living room has made the whole experience stress-free. Similar to playing in the rain, while it might not have been our preference, embracing Zoom programming has provided our community with so many opportunities to remain connected and engaged.

May is now upon us, more flowers are blooming, and it is easier to see hope and possibility on the horizon. As more members of our community are vaccinated, we can see the skies clearing and the rain clouds moving off into the distance. It is my hope that as we begin thinking seriously about what “normal” might once again look like, we take from the lessons of the past year: to cherish each moment, whether in the sunshine or the rain, and make the most of them. Life has never been, and will never be, perfect. But if we can remember to see the world through a child’s eyes—with possibility, wonder, and amazement—each day can be full of potential and blessing for each of us.