once upon a time there was born to the greek gods zeus (god of all) and demeter (goddess of the earth and agriculture) a beautiful daughter who lived happily among nature and was greatly sought after by many of the gods. one day while picking flowers with the nymphs, hades (god of the underworld) arose out of a chasm in the earth and kidnapped the girl, trapping her in the underworld and making her his queen. after realizing her daughter's disappearance, demeter descended into a depression that halted life all over the earth as she searched for her missing child. helios (the omnipotent sun god) saw what had happen to the girl and quickly relayed the occurrence to her mother and father. demeter was so sad and angry that she took her emotions out on the world, making it cold and dark. zeus could not allow for the earth to suffer while demeter mourned, and demanded hades return the girl. they reached an understanding, but before she was released, hades gave her the seeds of a pomegranate and tricked her into eating some of the fruit and it bound her to always return to him. therefore, half of the year she is allowed to be with her mother on earth and the other half she must return to her post as goddess of the underworld. while she is on earth, it is a green, bright and beautiful place, but when she is with hades, her mother's grief causes the earth to become barren and bitter. the girl's name is persephone (per-sef-o-nee), and her tragic story explains why we have the seasons.
since falling in love with the name while reading the odyssey in 9th grade english i said if i have a daughter i would like to name her after persephone. funny thing is that in the dead of winter i almost feel like the mother who mourns her absence.