Op-Ed‘Fierce urgency’ needed to protect climate

“Demeter and Persephone,” a book by an author at Jonesborough’s Storytelling Festival, relates an ancient Greek version of the creation story.

It pictures the all-powerful god Zeus, enthroned on Mount Olympus, watching over our world below. From his throne in a dark and cold underworld, Hades watches the world above. The world in-between is ruled over by Demeter, the goddess of the harvest. Burgeoning growth, this world’s air is heavy with the scent of flowers and the songs of birds. Our green Earth is “bursting with life.”

When Hades abducts Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, in an earthquake, Zeus sends his messenger Hermes to him. A compromise is negotiated. Without fail for half the yearly cycle, fall and winter, Persephone will go to the underworld as Hades’ wife. The earth must share the mother’s grief during that time; it turns silent, dark, and cold. But promptly and dependably at the beginning of spring, Persephone returns to her mother and the world buds with new life, light, warmth and birdsong. Demeter teaches people the rituals of welcoming, rejoicing and caring for the Earth that will “ensure that their harvests will always be plentiful.” More...

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