Hays: April showers bring May flowersWritten by Pam Hays | | firstname.lastname@example.org
April showers bring May flowers: I always liked this saying when I was a little girl growing up. Most of my family and neighbors thought the rainy days of our fourth month intruded on the outdoor work that springtime brings for homeowners, but I loved walking and splashing in puddles.
My favorite childhood joke was, “It is really raining cats and dogs outside. I know that because I just stepped in a poodle!” Yes, I know: corny. But it sure made me giggle.
So, back to those flowers. If we had a dry April, then the flowers we are so anxious to see in May would have a much more difficult time sprouting without the nourishment of the rain. We wouldn’t have the beauty of May without the dismal darkness of storm clouds in April. We judge the clouds as yucky rainy days, when actually they are the days that prepare for the kaleidoscope of blooms just a few weeks later.
Life mimics this. We look at the “showers” in our lives and concentrate on the clouds, the canceled plans, the scary thunder of troubles and the lightning-sharp pain in our spirits. We are so blinded by the fog after the storm that we find it difficult to see the “flowers,” the things blooming in our lives that bring us a garden of possibilities. Even when the clouds are lifted, we stand dazed, allowing bitterness, regret, shame and unforgiveness to distort our view of all the beauty that lies ahead.
It would make life a lot easier if we had doppler radar and all the fancy weather-predicting equipment our local forecasters have at their disposal to alert us when the winds of change are coming. A machine to tell us when our hearts should take cover and when we should carry an umbrella to help repel negativity, so it might roll off without drenching us in worry. But, since we never know what life has waiting for us around the corner, the best defense against the storms is learning from them as they come.
As a child, it is difficult to understand why the showers in April have to happen. All you want to do is run and play and ride your bike. Instead you are told you have to stay inside and be bored. But as we get older, we learn we can survive these times, we can thrive during these times and we can learn great lessons. Those lessons become the nurturing ingredients we can use to create the May flowers, the times in our lives that make it all worth it.
Those who can’t or won’t open their eyes and their hearts to making a plan to move forward never realize the full spectrum of what life has to offer. They remain stuck in their ways, stuck in ruts and stuck in the muddy waters of regret. The clouds don’t always cover the sky completely, but you count on them coming out time and time again. The sun doesn’t always shine brightly, but you can always count on it to shine through, even if just a bit, on the cloudiest of days.
You can focus on April or you can prepare for May. When the tulips and daffodils and daisies bloom it is so easy to forget what helped bring them up from under the deep soil and into the light. But the keeper of the garden never forgets. They plan, they design, they prepare, they plant, they nurture.
Be the keeper of the garden in your life. Allow your life to bloom with beautiful colors. Happy spring!
Pam Hays is president and founder of The Arms Forces, www.thearmsforces.org; (419) 891-2111.