Here in Maryland we’ve had a harder than usual winter, and the old man seems to want to hang on for everything he’s got. Generally at this time of year the trees are greening and some folks have even mowed their lawns already, but we just finished a weekend that was at best miserable weather-wise. Temperatures struggled to get out of the 30s, and it poured rain virtually non-stop for 48 hours. Just to make sure we all know who is in charge the rain unexpectedly changed to snow mid-afternoon yesterday, and a ‘wintry mix” (this is evidently a technical term favored by weather reporters) fell into the evening. I walked the dog yesterday afternoon, wind howling, rain, sleet, and snow coming down, about 35 degrees. Just lovely. If this is spring who needs winter?!
What a difference a day makes! Just an hour ago I walked the dog, and he happily sniffed his way around the neighborhood on a lovely early spring evening. Clear skies, gentle breezes, low 60s. People were out, washing cars, trimming trees, actually looking for excuses to spend some time out of doors with the promise of a real spring in the air. Even the home team won on opening day. Go Os! What a difference a day makes indeed.
We might say the same thing about life. If there is one thing I’ve learned in the rabbinate it is that things can change on a dime. One phone call, and your whole life can be turned upside down. You can go to bed at night with everything fine in your world, and wake up in the morning with overwhelming challenges confronting you. But the opposite is also true. A new day can bring a change in the weather for the better. An unexpected helping hand, a sudden realization that there is blessing right in front of you, a phone call from an old friend.
So often it is the small things that help to reorient our dark days. Dark clouds do clear away. The snow (and even the rain) does stop eventually. Spring comes, and with it the promise of redemption. ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ we say at the end of the seder. A place where each soul is on a higher plane. And on Opening Day there is always a promise in the air. Not next year in Jerusalem, but this year, the World Series!