How the Four Seasons Began
A retelling of Greek mythology
Demeter woke up with many things on her mind. She had a busy day ahead of her down on Earth. Harvest time had arrived, and as the Goddess of the Harvest, she needed to check the crops and make sure everyone had a bountiful harvest.
Demeter smiled. I am full of joy and happiness, she said to herself. It should be a plentiful and abundant harvest.
Demeter thought about the times when she was sad or angry. The crops during her dark moods would shrivel and die, and food would be scarce for the people on Earth.
Demeter went to her daughter’s room. Persephone was sleeping peacefully.
“How beautiful she is,” whispered Demeter. “She is my life, my happiness! I can’t live without her.” And she gently woke Persephone, telling her they must go down to Earth to check on the crops.
Persephone loved to go to Earth. Wherever she walked, beautiful flowers would spring out of the ground, filling her path with color and wonderful aromas.
On this day, when they got down to Earth, Persephone skipped joyfully along, picking the flowers that grew wherever she walked.
From his home in the Underworld, Hades saw Persephone. “She is so beautiful and so alive!” he said to himself. As ruler of the Underworld, Hades spent every day looking at darkness and death.
“I am so lonely, and long for something bright and lively,” he sighed. Then, he got an idea. He watched Persephone skipping through the field. Her mother, Demeter, was nowhere in sight.
Hades left the Underworld and grabbed Persephone, dragging her to the Underworld where he made her his Queen.
“Persephone, it’s time to return home,” shouted Demeter when she had finished checking all the crops. “Persephone!” Demeter shouted and looked frantically everywhere for Persephone. But there was no response.
Demeter was filled with grief. She fell into a deep, dark depression. All the crops withered and died for over a year. A terrible famine fell over the Earth.
Zeus, ruler of all the Gods, watched all this happen. He didn’t want to get involved. But the famine was terrible for the people of Earth.
“Please, Demeter, stop the famine,” he asked.
“No, never, not until Persephone is brought back to me!” Demeter was determined to see her beautiful daughter again.
Zeus talked with Hades and they made a bargain.
In the spring and summer, Persephone would be allowed to be with Demeter.
In the fall and winter, Persephone would spend time with Hades.
And so, the four seasons were started.
In spring and summer, when Demeter is happy, the crops can grow and be abundant.
In fall and winter, when Demeter is depressed and sad without her Persephone, the crops wither and die
Hope you enjoyed today’s story.
Why not make up your own story about why the seasons change?
Have fun and be creative!
First illustration is my original. All photos are courtesy of Pixabay.com