It’s January 1st…the beginning of a new calendar year. Typically, I’d feel hopeful, excited, eager, and enthusiastic. This year, January 1st marks 10 days before another first – the first anniversary of my father’s passing. I feel sad, melancholy, and down.

My landscape appears desolate around me. I walk on very dry, cracked ground. I can’t see trees or grass. Instead, I see wide tree stumps. The grey sky mirrors the heart-ache in my soul. As I walk along this beige-brown earthen path, I notice small blades of grass in some spots. path with small greenery

I see a tiny yellow flower with green leaves pushing its way through the parched dirt a bit further along. yellow flower

That small sign of growth means plants can survive the dryness. Maybe the grey skies mean rain is on the way – life-giving rain. The plants will grow. Trees will grow. The colors will return to the landscape.

I take my lessons from the landscape. The sadness and melancholy are temporary, just like the dry brown cracked earth. Today I see only a tiny yellow flower. Yet that flower grows and thrives.

And so do I.

Here’s looking to a year of life-giving rain that will grow our landscape and our souls!


For the elevation of the soul of Yoel Meir ben Simcha (Joel Sandleman).