PERSEPHONE AND THE POMEGRANATE SEEDS
S eeds are central to one of the most famous Greek myths, which is a parable that explains the four seasons of the year. Demeter, goddess of the harvest, had a beautiful daughter, Persephone. One day, Persephone went missing. Distraught, Demeter searched everywhere for her, but to no avail. The land withered and died as she mourned her lost child. Eventually, Demeter received word that the god of the Underworld, Hades, had fallen in love with Persephone and kidnapped her, whisking her away to his dark underground lair. He’d tried to persuade her to eat and drink, as consuming food in the spirit world would keep her there forever, but she’d refused to touch a morsel. Demeter begged her brother Zeus, king of the gods, to make Hades release her daughter. Zeus agreed – but he revealed that a hungry Persephone had, in fact, consumed six seeds from a juicy red pomegranate. He decreed that she could remain with her mother for six months each year, but must return to her husband for the remaining six months. So, each year when Persephone returns to her mother, she brings spring and summer with her. But Demeter mourns when she leaves for the Underworld, and cold and darkness stalk the land once more.