As the days on Earth lengthen and turn towards spring, we find Queen Persephone in the Underworld with her lover, King Hades. She tends to the souls of those who wait for life to call upon them once again.
But even in this timeless place, time passes. And Mystery has its way with us all. In this place of sameness the unexpected happens. A whiff of air drifts in and mingles with the mists and vapors of the Underworld. The sconces and torches flutter and quickly regain their steady glow.
A murmur arises among the Shades, “from whence comes this breeze?” A sadness of memory flutters through rushing from shadow to shadow until it is dampened amidst the fog and the vapors.
“What is this? An aroma of newness? Here among the Dead there is no newness. All remains. All remains. No change comes to this place. All remains.”
Nonetheless, curiosity, a scampering child of Time, tugs on a corner of Persephone's awareness.
“Rest, my Lady." counsels Hades. "Your time of service within these realms is not yet complete. There are more souls to be tended. Come, here, feast once more with me! Lie once more with me! Our love lies beyond time, beyond human understanding, beyond the reckoning of cycles. Stay with me, my Lady, stay!"
“My Lord, You are most gracious. Here do I reign in splendor. Here do I fulfill a destiny that reaches into my soul. And yet...”
And yet, the crown begins to lie heavy on Persephone's brow. The pomegranate seeds Persephone ate when she first arrived in the Underworld, their potency wears thin. After all she had eaten but 6 of them. Their spell will not last forever. Even in this place where time waits, their magic will not last forever.
A thirst Persephone only vaguely remembers arises within her. Her heart yearns. But for what? She hardly knows.
A longing has taken root in Persephone's heart. A restlessness that finds no solace in tending those who have passed this way or even in the entertainment Hades offers. The stirring of memory rises within her. The air surrounding her becomes stifling. Her lungs call out for air and she knows that change has come.
From some corner in this Place of Shades, a pinprick of light beckons. Invisible to most it catches the eye of Queen Persephone and quickly as quicksilver she follows it. “I remember not where this will lead me and yet follow it I must!”
“I will return, My Lord!” She pledges. “I’ll not forget…”
And Lord Hades sighs for the long silent months that await Him. For forget she must. And return again, she must. For the cycle will be fulfilled. But the waiting in this timeless place lays heavy on his heart.
For Memory, a Goddess of Time, works in strange and mysterious ways. She plays tricks on us all. The best of intentions falls prey to her wiles. Memory imprints herself deeply within us all and bides her time until she reemerges. Which she does at her Will.
And Persephone? Her steps growing lighter as she begins her ascent. Cautiously at first, and then ever more boldly, she follows the light that guides her, opening the way.
With each step she grows younger, stepping backwards, or is it forwards into innocence. The wisdom of the Queen falls away, replaced by a wide-eyed youth.
Her step becomes a skip and then a slight run. Her hair that had been bound as befits a Queen falls soft, cascading over Her shoulders. Her gown of darkened heavy velvet and fog melts into the lightness of gossamer and of silk.
The aroma of forever drifts off, as the scent of tomorrow eases its way along the path that rises ever rises towards the surface.
In the Upper World, the world of humans and their Godds, Demeter has answered a call of a meadow beside the rock face. A place where all the world holds it breath and waits. ”This place… this place it feels familiar,” She muses.
And as The Mother walks across the meadow, once again grasses and flowers rise up in Her step. She breathes in the fragrance and thinks, “Ah! Familiar. It has been long since I walked in this place and smelled the freshness herein. Long since I felt hope stirring in my heart.”
“Look! The first snowdrops! Can it be? It must be!” And Demeter looks about wildly hoping against hope.
Out from the cleft in the rock wall, Kore steps, a Maiden once more. A carpet of sunny yellow winter aconite and pure white snowdrops bloom where she steps.
“Mother!” She cries.
“Child” cries the Mother.
And spring returns to the Earth once again.