Like many Jewish holidays, Passover connects to cycles in nature. Karpas, a green vegetable like parsley or celery, symbolizes springtime. We dip the karpas into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves. As many of us shed tears due to loss of work or of our daily routines, it can be easy to lose sight of the new season beginning just outside our doors. We mix a bit of this symbol of hope and springtime with a little sadness as we say the blessing together: 

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha`olam, bo'rei p'ri ha'adama

haggadah Section: Karpas