Monday, October 10, 2011

Demeter's Lament

Yes, it has happened - Everyday Magic has put on new colors again, as well as some fancy gothic-looking type on the heading in honor of the upcoming All Hallow's Even (or Halloween, if you prefer). Feel free to observe and admire - it will be here all month.

I take you once again to the days of antiquity - back to ancient Greece, where the goddess Demeter reigned on Olympus over all the green and growing things of the Earth. Demeter was the only goddess besides Hera to have produced a divine daughter (not half mortal) - Persephone, patron of flowers, butterflies, springtime, and the prettier things of the earth. However, Persephone was very beautiful and Hades, Lord of the Underworld, desired her to wife. He kidnapped her one day and dragged her down to his palace Below. Devastated, Demeter went into mourning and refused to make anything grow, and so the world began to perish. A desperated Zeus pleaded with Hades to release Persephone, but because she had eaten five pomegranate seeds while there, it was required that she remain five months out of every year. Demeter rejoiced to have her daughter back, but for those five months she continues to mourn until her daughter can rise from the Underworld once more.

And thus it was created - Winter.

This past week saw the first snow of the year. Nothing stuck in the valley, but the mountains are bright, brilliant white from the summits down. The temperature has plunged, pinching a rosie blush into the leaves on the trees, scattering diamond frosts on the ground, and dispensing numb fingertips and rosy noses everywhere. Old Winter is slowly inching his way onto the seasonal stage, biding his time until he can have his grand soliloquy in the spotlight. He's still mostly in the wings now, reminding us of his presence with a few chill winds and icy rains, but as yet his cue has not come. As the story goes, Demeter has started to feel the pains of parting once again. One can see that more and more as the beautiful summer flowers and autumn fruits begin to die, bitten by a mischevious frost.

However, this time of year needn't be one of mourning for everyone. I, for one, have been enjoying myself thoroughly. Last week I went to the Creamery and bought a can of Stephens Gourmet Cocoa - the first of many that will inhabit my cupboard this season. I have experienced anew the delight of wrapping chilled fingers around a warm porcelain mug, of the steam and chocolate scent rise across my face, and of the beautiful sensation of something hot running down your throat and warming you from the inside out. I have remembered the blessing of warm coats and hats, and the comfort of being wrapped in a soft blanket while a storm howls away on the doorstep.

Demeter can weep all she likes. I love winter.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice, Rachel. You paint such a beautiful picture. I love Winter too! There is nothing so comforting as having no where to go when it is snowing outside.

    Love, mom