Last week, my granddaughter strung together her first couple of words. Yesterday, my grandson took his first step.

These were special moments and extraordinary accomplishments on my grandchildren’s journey toward maturation. But these moments were the culmination of weeks and months of efforts. My granddaughter didn’t suddenly begin to speak, just as my grandson didn’t suddenly learn to walk.

Acquiring language is a complex process. From the moment they are born, babies start to learn this skill. First, they organize sensory information, disentangling sounds and categorizing them. Then they learn to recognize the meaning in all that noise. And from now until she enters school, my granddaughter will be learning the meaning of about eight new words a day to master a mind-boggling 11,000 words.

Similarly, my grandson didn’t learn how to walk in one day. From the moment he was born, his legs and muscles were growing stronger and more disciplined. First, he learned how to sit up, then to co-ordinate his arms and legs by crawling. Finally, he pulled himself up and gained the necessary balance to take that momentous step forward.

And yet, when we look at these young children, we often don’t recognize all that is going on within enabling them to acquire these skills.

Because growth and change are continuous, even without us realizing it.

As you woke up this morning, did you sense the feeling that spring was in the air? Before long, the barren trees that greeted us all winter will be weighed down by bright-green leaves, with the scent of budding flowers in the air tantalizing us.

When was the moment that spring had sprung? While we may not have noticed, throughout the barren desolate winter, deep within the frozen soil, the necessary rejuvenation was already taking place.

This week, we welcome the month of Nissan, which is a month of miracles and the month that we celebrate Passover, our freedom from Egyptian bondage. We adjust the calendar so that the month of Nissan always arrives in the spring season.

After Moses delivered a message of hope and freedom, the tyranny and suffering of the Jewish slaves in Egypt became worse. But while externally their hardships were intensifying, the potential of their freedom was preparing to burst through the unyielding surface. Despite the desperation of their situation, after hundreds of years in exile, the Jewish people marched triumphantly out of Egypt.

And perhaps this is the message of the Jewish people’s liberation in this season. Even in moments when we feel frozen-over, impoverished and stripped of our strength, we need to remember the growth and positive change taking place deep within. Our situation may look bleak, but we canbreak free from our own restraints by realizing and accessing the hidden reservoirs buried within.

May this month of miracles finally bring us the long-awaited redemption, as all of humanity springs forth into an era of peace and prosperity.