Spring has Sprung…At Least We Hope So…
Those who follow the stock market are aware that there has been a fair amount of volatility. The weather isn’t much more predictable than the market. Everywhere I go people are commenting on how cold this April has been so far. I remember several Marches ago the weather forecasters told us a big one was coming–Twelve to Twenty inches worth moving our way—unusual for a March. So people trudged off to the grocery store—they stored their bread, eggs, milk and other survival snacks. We prepared to hibernate. Schools cancelled, snow blowers were dusted off, shovels were retrieved from the shed, I even stayed up late and watched a movie the night before. After all, the world was shutting down by morning–surely it would be a day off.
What happened? Almost none of what was predicted. Almost no snow. Very little shoveling. And for many, no time off work. In that sense it was a false hope. The Philly weather forecasting celebrity, John Bolaris said he receive more irate mail, including threats, than at any time in his weather career. False Reports disappoint people.
I have numerous memories of being disappointed by False Springs! Stiff from a long winter of cold, snow, ice and rain. Worn out from struggling with winter coats, scarfs, and gloves; bored with cabin fever, shut up like a chicken in a coop; looking in the garage at my motorcycle, aching to pull the throttle round a turn and feel the warm breeze in my face, ready to take that lawn mower for a walk through some lush green grass. Longing to go out on the deck … Just wanting to say welcome Spring, Hallelujah You Have Arrived. What took you so long? We yearn for it! We long to see the birth of flowers and buds turning to leaves, and the burst of outdoor activity.
Buds on trees begin to swell, birds are heard singing early in the morning. Time to clean off the golf clubs–time to wash and wax the car. On a Saturday morning, I reserved my first Spring outing. I go to bed early, so I can get up rested, to enjoy a whole day’s worth. The alarm sounds, looking out, what do I see? An unwelcome guest interrupting my party, a dusting of white snow clinging to trees. And the old timers at the diner say: “We told you. We have lived too long to be surprised by an early Spring!” Grudgingly, we pull the winter coat from the closet–the pall of winter settles down again. False spring has done its work! I don’t know about you…but I really don’t like False Springs…I like days like today, in the mid 70’s, the real thing finally.
Years of watching and living through all the changes in weather have taught me some valuable lessons. It could be summed up by saying that one learns to take the bad along with the good and to anticipate the remarkable peace that inevitably follows from this deep acceptance. There are many parallels between the natural world and our own imperfect lives. It doesn’t make a difference who you are—how talented, smart, or successful you may be—illness, financial problems, broken love relationships, family disappointments—they disrupt our lives in one way or another. But this much we can take to the bank: they pass, and when they do, they so often leave us in a state of grace. If we have been listening to God, we discover this remarkable truth, that we not only learned to survive but in actuality we prevailed. The older I get the more convinced I become that God blesses all the seasons and weather forecasts of our lives…even those False Springs that we grumble about.