After losing a loved one, one may feel as if one is stumbling through an infinite darkness. No one is more familiar with this feeling than the mother; every mother must deal with the loss of losing her daughter. After years of caring and loving for their daughters, mothers must ultimately loosen the bonds of love and allow their daughters to explore the world for themselves. However, unlike other mothers, Ceres is forced to let go of her daughter Persephone prematurely, because Persephone is abducted by Hades.
Ceres tries to take her beloved daughter back by blackmailing Zeus with an eternal winter; indeed for Ceres, it certainly puts the world in her shoes. The world seems all the more foul when it is rejoicing at a time of one’s grief. Ceres’ winter is solid and cold; this may demonstrate to why there are shorter days and longer nights in the winter. However, her winter is betrayed by time itself. Ceres must “wake slowly,” and learn to face her loss, no matter how painful, because “a summer day is beginning,” and time stops for no one.
When Ceres does confront the world, she sees a world so utterly contrasting and conflicting with her current mindset. Even with that great rift in her heart, the world continues to live on, and the “apple trees appear, one by one. ” Had she been spiteful, Ceres would have cursed the apples as ironic reminders of the fruit that ultimately sentenced her daughter to Hell (reference to Eavan Boland’s The Pomegranate. However, Ceres has truly learned to put aside her anguish and can be merciful, and she sees the apples as the symbols of a new beginning. The light is enveloping the world in all of its glory, and it “is pouring/ into the promise of fruit. ” She can revel in the fact that there is still hope for her daughter. With every winter, there must also be a summer to cleanse the dreary sentiments that have arisen. Ceres’ summer will inevitably come as well, because indeed, time stops for no one.
However, even if Ceres accepts her daughter’s fate and forgives Hades, she will still mourn for her loss. She looks toward the beautiful morning in painful nostalgia, wanting to feel the love of her daughter again. She wants the light to “look at me as a daughter would/ look: with that love and that curiosity:/ as to what she came from. / And what she will become. ” She hopes that the summer will change her for the better.
Persephone was literally the light of Ceres’ life, but now that she is gone, Ceres must draw from this cruel lesson the fact that life doesn’t revolve solely around her daughter. Ceres must learn that even the gods cannot have their ways; even the gods can lose. In the end, Ceres does learn. She comes to terms with the fact that her beloved daughter is gone. Now that Persephone has flown from her hands, Ceres is now empty-handed; the only thing left for her to do is to put her hands together and pray for the best.