The familiar rhyme, “April Showers Bring May Flowers,” reminds us of patience, optimism, and a full range of attitudes and behaviors associated with the virtue Hope. Spring evidences the rewards of perpetual Hope, particularly in the month of May. One can sense the fruits of Hope in the fullness of Spring’s emergence from Winter’s dearth into Nature’s lush, vibrant, diverse display of flora and fauna.
In May we bear witness to Hope’s promises fulfilled through rituals honoring the growth and achievement of our children through their exams, sports, recitals, graduation ceremonies, and even through our own Religious Exploration Bridging Ceremony. May is both a demonstration and a celebration of Life’s robust plentitude.
Absurd as the recent “end of the world” false prophesy may seem, it is not the prediction of the Rapture itself I find curious—nothing new in that scheme—rather, it is the date—May 21st. In May we take delight in the rapturous climax of Spring. We are amazed…again…at the season of fecundity and new birth. We acknowledge the fruits of our labor in both field and family. We celebrate good work and good fortune through rituals honoring the human spirit in personal, controlled, and partial tones even while being confronted with impersonal, uncontrol- lable, and impartial forces of Life that evoke awe, terror, humility, but also gratitude, and hope.
The “insane” proclamation of God coming to destroy all but the faithful few is rooted in apocalyptic literature that was originally intended as messages of justice and hope to oppressed and persecuted Jewish and Christian communities. Ironically, despite its absurdity and exclusivity, even in “the end of the world” message a faint echo of “Hope springs eternal!” can be discerned, particularly in May, because Hope springs from a fundamental human impulse toward Life.