Every year people in colder climates look forward to the advent of spring with great anticipation. The promise of longer, warmer days, sunshine, flowers and a myriad of outdoor activities puts an extra spring in our step (pun only marginally intended) and boosts us through the final days of winter. And every spring, I think we all suffer a temporary amnesia that causes us to forget that “with spring comes rain”. Sure there are the old sayings “March – In like a lion and out like a lamb” and “April showers bring May flowers” but the idea in most folks head is that the rain is just a light watering needed to make the spring flowers bloom, not a veritable monsoon season! This year, those of us in the Northeast as well as other rain-soaked regions are finding that those spring showers are carrying a particular tenaciousness and ferocity to them that just weren’t what we had in mind.
As water tables rise, rivers crest and the Earth becomes sodden with the seemingly endless supply of rain in the forecast, we are forced to table our plans for enjoying the warm weather that spring promises in order to mop our basements, replace our windshield wipers and buy new umbrellas to replace the one that was turned inside out by a rogue gust of wind. Like many of our other plans, hopes and dreams for our future – the rain provides the perfect metaphor for the monkey-wrench that is often a part of the process. There are few things in life that are a straight shot from desire to attainment – the path winds and the obstacles are unpredictable and plentiful – yet the spring always really does arrive. We may have the opportunity to get outside here and there – though it feels like forty days and forty nights, there are breaks in between and when there are, they are often glorious.
Though it would be nice to be able to believe that everything you work for and want in your life is just there around the corner – a short burst of elbow-grease away but the reality is that the path to getting there is often fraught with challenges. The key to succeeding is about being able to weather the storm, and work through the stalls and sidetracks along the way, focusing on the vision you wish for and dealing with the challenges as they arise in the best and clearest way that you can. There will always be another rainy day but there will also always be another sunny one. Reminding yourself that you have what it takes to get through the obstacles in your path as you strive toward your goals will help you along your journey – because if it was all flowers and sunshine the sense of accomplishment though sweet would feel a lot less satisfying. Besides you never know what you can learn from a little rain.