April is one of my favorite months. While March signals the start of Spring, it’s April when flowers start reliably blooming, even for those of us living in the Northern parts of the United States. The days are getting longer, and it’s hard not to be optimistic when warmer weather awaits. Even the name ‘April’ signals growth, as it’s derived from the Latin word “aperire,” which means to open.
Where flowers bloom, so does hope.Lady Bird Johnson
This month is also special to Sara and me for the important religious holidays, Passover and Easter, that often fall during April.
Passover, centered around a communal meal–called the Seder–is Sara’s kids’ favorite holiday to celebrate with extended family. The kids are encouraged to participate and ask questions. In fact, the most important role in the whole Seder is The Four Questions, which is recited by the youngest person at the table. This interactive and festive meal celebrates the Jewish people’s liberation from slavery in Egypt, and every part of the meal is symbolic. Sara loves preparing the apple dish Haroset, and her kids enjoy making the matzah ball soup. Since eating matzah for a week during Passover can get a little boring, Sara’s family likes to get creative with it. Her husband Jason’s favorite matzah snack is “matzah pizza,” which he makes by topping a sheet of matzah with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese, then heating it briefly in the oven.
Easter also centers around food, family and friends for me. My years growing up in Kentucky brought new traditional delicacies to our Easter celebrations, among those honey-baked ham and family friends the Thomas’ ever-popular cheese balls. My boys have great memories of Easters in Kentucky, with egg hunts in my parent’s vast back yard and Easter baskets filled with candy they could never hope to finish.
Over the years, I’ve also loved visiting Kentucky in April for Keeneland’s Spring Meet. It’s hard to beat the beautiful horses and scenery this time of year in Kentucky, and the April thoroughbred racing season in Lexington is a tradition I was happy to share last spring with a few of my Glenview friends.
And if you’re looking for more reasons to get outside in April, National Parks Week is happening April 22-30th in 2023, kicking off this year on Earth Day! Entrance fees are waived at all parks on the 22nd, and communities around the country offer Earth Day events, when you can gather with friends to clean up parks and learn about ways to live more sustainably.
April gives us many reasons to find hope in celebrations and the natural beauty emerging from the muddy ground. Earth Day 2023 encourages us to Invest in Our Planet, and we’d like to encourage our readers to also invest in time with family and friends to mark this hopeful season.
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