When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
Walt Whitman - 1865
Written in the wake of deep mourning after the assassination of President Lincoln, the perennial blooming of spring lilacs, prompts an annual remembrance of what has been lost, the possibilities of rejuvenation, and a recognition that, despite the fragility of life, we persevere in the face of hardship.
When the loss feels overwhelming, it is hard to consider that life can get better. Certain holidays can make the loss even more painful, harder to imagine that life will inevitably require us to adapt to new circumstance and that we can restore ourselves.
As the lilacs bloom, Mother's Day can be a time to reflect on the complexities involved to live a fulfilled life.