The Restorative Magic of Time

Sorrow by Abraham Lincoln
In this sad world of ours,
sorrow comes to all
and it often comes with bitter agony
perfect relief is not possible
except with time
you cannot now believe that
you will ever feel better
but this is not true
you are sure to be happy again
knowing this, truly believing it,
will make you less miserable now.

While in Kindergarten, my son was learning about “Honest Abe.” At after school pick up one day, following a memorable classroom discussion about our 16th President, he posed this question, “Mama, did you know Abraham Lincoln?” To which I replied, “Of course I know about President Lincoln.” My son became more adamant, “NO! Did you ever meet him?” Hah!

While coming across this poem by my friend, Abe 😊, I smiled at the contrast of the title of the poem with this humorous memory. In so doing, I instinctively practiced what I believe his words were intending. Recognizing a difficult time in our lives, where there is no perfect relief needs to be paired with a future day when happiness and comfort prevail.

With this worldwide health crisis, there is no perfect relief to what we are facing. Even with masks, social distancing, stunningly dedicated and talented healthcare workers, scientists working tirelessly, this virus is permeating our life and for many, the sorrow is agonizing and what relief awaits is not immediate. In the words of this poem, “You are sure to be happy again…” is offered up as a promise packaged in time.

Try this: Recall an event when you ached from an emotional hurt or felt challenged by an unwanted change and questioned when you would feel happy again. In time, smiles and joy did find you—not perfect relief, but weeks and months carried you to less distress and reconstructed happiness. As this week begins, focus on the restorative magic of time and savor the transformation from loss to replenished and from fear to hope. This, in the words of ol’ Abe, may make you less miserable now.