Life begins, it bears fruit, it matures and it dies. Like the seasons each segment of life has its own beauty and its own challenges. The beauty of spring is first glimpsed when it begins to resurrects itself from the icy grip of winter and bring forth a renewed sense of life waiting to bloom. Each spring we are reminded of the cycle of life. Here is California we have had a very rainy winter. This will surely bring us a bountiful bouquet of flowers. The rain after all is nature’s way of replenishing life. Without it life as we know it could not exist.
Rain is often symbolized as dark and dreary. We are reminded that after the rain comes the sunshine. All we need is to wait and this “too will pass.” But rain is also a gift. It reminds me of the Chinese proverb; the traveler hopes for sunshine — the farmer hopes for rain. One person’s darkness can be another person’s sunlight. It is all a matter of your perspective.
In Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms,” rain appears throughout the novel. It symbolizes unhappiness. Falling rain occurs in the book when the characters are feeling anxious and lost. Yet in some cultures rain is seen as a common natural occurrence that is vital to life. Rainfall represents rebirth and emotional cleansing. In some geographical areas where it rarely rains, rainfall brings emotional relief and happiness.
One person’s doom and gloom can be another person’s ray of hope. That is why symbols cannot be held to a single interpretation.
Symbols are often multifaceted and are therefore very powerful because they have many layers of significance that cannot be fully understood or captured in words.
We’ve all heard the rhyme, “April showers bring May flowers” and although there is a scientific truth to this poetic rhyme it also holds a deeper meaning by reminding us that many of life’s greatest things come to those who patiently wait; patiently enduring the clouds and the rain.
In yoga we refer to this as sa tu dirgha or the ability to have the patience to wait for a long time with devotion and faith. Nothing in life comes instantaneously. It is all a long learning process. But if you can endure the rain the flowers will follow.
Everything in life gives and everything receives and all of life is a sacrifice. This is the law of life. Nothing is gained without something being lost. Life does not discriminate. The rain falls evenly on all of us. It sacrifices so the soil can give and life is renewed again.
April brings with it a few notable holidays such as April Fools, Easter and Passover. It also celebrates Arbor Day or the planting of trees and a lesser known celebration called tatting day. Tatting is celebrated on April 1st. It is a celebration of the art of making tatted lace and is often celebrated by eating chocolate. Sign me up! Tatting dates back to ancient sailors and Victorian England. It is the art of making lace, which was highly prized in Victorian times. In Ireland the nuns noticed people were eating grass because they did not have food. So they sold their tats to feed the poor. One person’s tat is another person’s full belly.
April is also the month to take your child to work and it’s a celebration of Patriots Day which commemorates the Battle of Lexington and Concord; the battle that began the revolutionary war. Sometimes we have to endure the battle to have freedom and peace.
Oh and don’t forget about the tax man on April 15th. We all have to give to get.
Life may present you with many setbacks, disappointments or hindrances. Do not be dismayed. Just remember: the wind always changes direction, clouds do not hang overhead forever and Sweet April showers do spring May flowers.
Originally published at medium.com