Monday, September 22, 2008

The Sorrow of Demeter

There is a chill in the air this morning; on this, the first day of Autumn.
I love the change of this season. Autumn is the time of year when the blue sky of day has a touch of steel woven within it. Both the morning and evening skies are burning with swaths of orange, red and purple clouds. The air is crisp and cool and the smell of the leaves play upon it. It is the time of transition, also. Days are shorter as long dark nights return to the world of man. Persephone has once again traveled to the underworld.
Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of the harvest. She was a beautiful young woman and everyone loved her. Even Hades wanted Persephone for himself. However, Zeus spurned Hades request of Persephone's hand in marriage to the Lord of the Underworld.
One day, when Persephone was collecting flowers, the earth suddenly cracked open and Hades rose up and abducted her. None but Zeus, and Helios, the all-seeing sun, had noticed it.
Life on Earth came to a standstill as the broken-hearted Demeter wandered the earth, looking for her daughter to no avail. Finally, Helios revealed what had happened to Persephone. Demeter was so angry that she withdrew herself in loneliness, and the earth ceased to be fertile.
Knowing this could not continue much longer, Zeus demanded that Persephone be returned to her mother. Zeus then sent Hermes down to Hades to make retrieve Persephone. Hades grudgingly agreed, but before she went back he gave Persephone a pomegranate. When she ate some of the seeds, it bound her to the Underworld forever and she had to stay there for one-third of the year. The other months she stayed with her mother.
When Demeter and her daughter are united, the Earth flourishes with vegetation and color. While Persephone is in Hades, Demeter refuses to let anything grow and winter begins. For four months each year, when Persephone returns to the underworld, the earth once again becomes a barren realm.
Autumn marks the beginning of Demeter's grief.
It is a magical, mythical time of the year.
It is my favorite time of year.


Blogger Fox In Detox said...

Right with you on that friend. Fall Rocks hard.

8:59 AM, September 22, 2008  

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