Seasons of Love

Based on the Mythological story of Demeter,

Goddess of Vegetation, and her daughter Proserpina

 

     Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there lived a beautiful Goddess named Precious Priscilla. Priscilla shared a home in the clouds with her delightfully adventurous daughter, Lovely Lily. Both mother and daughter were content living in the clouds, playing and laughing as the world below them thrived upon the brilliant glow of their happiness. When Priscilla and Lily danced and sang, their laughter caused flowers to bloom and food to grow across the land.

Many years passed and Lovely Lily grew into a beautiful, young woman. Her golden hair glimmered in the sun and her radiant blue eyes sparkled with curiosity. Priscilla knew it was time to let her Lovely Lily venture out on her own, to explore the world below the clouds. Though Priscilla was afraid, she let Lovely Lily take a walk in the woods alone.

     “You be careful, my Lovely Lily. I cannot protect you when you are on the ground. You must watch for any danger that may lurk.” Precious Priscilla grimaced as she watched her Lovely Lily slowly climb down from the safety of the clouds.

     “Do not worry, Mother,” Lovely Lily said. “...I will be very, very careful. I promise.” She smiled up at her worried mother and waved to her from the ground below. “Tis quite beautiful down here, Mother. Nothing will hurt me here.” Lovely Lily turned from her mother and began her great adventure.   

     Hours passed as Lovely Lily smelled the flowers and touched the lumpy brown bark covering the trees. The birds swooped close over her head and the water ran cool through her milky white fingers.

     Lovely Lily was mesmerized by the beauty of the mountains and the feel of the sweet green grasses brushing gently against her bare ankles. The adventure was even better than she had dreamed it would be.

Soon Lovely Lily grew tired from all the excitement of the day and laid down to rest in a meadow of wildflowers. The sun beat warmth against her delicate skin as she fell fast asleep.

     As Lovely Lily slept upon the cool ground, a handsome young man named Hiding Hugo watched her from afar. Hugo crept closer and closer until he was near enough to see the shine of her golden hair and the pure ivory hue of her beautiful skin. Instantly, Hiding Hugo fell deeply in love with Lovely Lily.

Finally, after watching Lovely Lily sleep for a long time, Hiding Hugo decided he must have the beautiful young maiden as his wife. Quietly he crept up to the sleeping Lily and gently picked her up into his strong arms, careful not to disturb her blissful sleep. Then the handsome Hiding Hugo blinked five times and spoke a quiet word. As his eyelids fluttered, the ground below them began to open up and instantly they were swallowed by the earth. Lovely Lily had disappeared without a trace.

     Back home in the clouds, Precious Priscilla began to worry when her Lovely Lily had not returned home. She paced and paced, growing sadder and sadder as the time passed. As Priscilla’s happiness faded so did the beautiful vegetation below.

     The flowers wilted and the grain in the fields laid flat on its side. The trees lost their leaves and the vegetables fell from the vines. As depression and grief overtook Precious Priscilla, the people on the ground began to go hungry.

Over a month passed with no word from Lovely Lily. Precious Priscilla feared the worst and her depression worsened. All of the grasses were now dried out and the animals had nothing to eat. The fruits and vegetables were rotten and the flowers had blown away in the wind. Precious Priscilla was filled with sorrow.

     Finally, Icara, the king of the land, came to Precious Priscilla and begged her to smile again. “Please, Precious Priscilla, laugh and smile and bring life back to our beautiful land, or surely we will all die.” His huge, bushy eyebrows danced on his forehead as he spoke. “What can I do, Precious Priscilla, to make you happy again?” King Icara dropped to one knee and begged the beautiful goddess to save his starving land.

     “King Icara, I shall never be happy again until my Lovely Lily returns. For I do not know if harm has befallen her or if someone has snatched her away. I will remain sad until I see for myself that my Lovely Lily is safe.” Precious Priscilla turned from her humble King and wept.

King Icara had no choice but to find Lovely Lily. He went back to his castle, perched atop the highest hill, and summoned the great Madam Mariah, the favored fortune-teller of the land. Madam Mariah had a magic stone made of the most brilliant, violet-colored amethyst. In the amethyst stone, Madam Mariah and King Icara could see Hiding Hugo dining with Lovely Lily in his underground home.

     “The handsome young Hugo has taken Lovely Lily underground, to live as his bride. What am I to do now, Madam Mariah? How am I to convince Hiding Hugo that he must take Lovely Lily back to her mother? It doesn’t matter to him if the ground is barren, for he lives beneath its surface. He only wants to keep Lovely Lily to himself!” King Icara fretted.

     “Oh, wondrous King. You can convince Hiding Hugo to let Lovely Lily visit the Goddess Priscilla. You are the smartest of kings. Hiding Hugo wants to make Lovely Lily happy, does he not?” Her pointy fingernails tapped the brilliant stone. “He will do as she wishes, for he loves Lovely Lily.”

     A knowing smile crosses her broad face. “He will indeed, my King, for he wants her to return to him of her own free will. He does not want to hold her as his prisoner. Hiding Hugo is truly a good man at heart.”

     King Icara instantly called for his chariot to take him to the gateway of the underground land. He knocked against a huge, flat rock covering the door with his golden scepter. The ground shook as the door slid open. King Icara stood tall and brave at the threshold and beckoned Hiding Hugo to the surface.  

     “Come hither, Hiding Hugo, for I must speak with you at once,” the King bellowed down into the ground. The sound of his voice bounced off the walls of the huge cave. Suddenly there stood Hiding Hugo with a wary smile upon his face.

     “How may I help you, my King? It has been a very long time since you last requested anything of me.” Hiding Hugo walked slowly toward the king and held out his hand in greeting.

     “I’ve come to ask a favor of you, Hiding Hugo. I wonder if you would consider allowing Lovely Lily to visit her mother?” King Icara took the hand Hiding Hugo offered and held it firmly in his grasp. “Precious Priscilla is heartbroken that you have taken her beautiful daughter away without not so much as a word. She is concerned that Lovely Lily has been harmed. Precious Priscilla has stopped laughing and smiling and because of this the ground is baring no food for my hungry people, and no beauty for the world to behold. Please, kind sir, I know you do not want Lovely Lily to be sad. Maybe if she was allowed to see her mother, they would both be happy, and all would be as it should be again.”

     King Icara had given a very persuasive speech to Hiding Hugo. For it was true that Lovely Lily had been sad without her mother and Hugo knew Lily would want her mother to be happy again.

     “I will grant a visit between my Lovely Lily and her mother, but I must arrange it myself. Please, my King, I promise that I will abide by your wishes. Now allow me to speak to Lovely Lily alone.” Hiding Hugo turned and walked into his underground home, the huge stone doorway closing tightly behind him.

     Once below ground again, Hiding Hugo, fell to his knees in front of Lovely Lily. “Lily, my dear, I have a surprise for you,” his eyes radiating love up to his new bride. “I have decided to take you to visit your mother, for I understand that she has been filled with sorrow since you have been gone.” Hiding Hugo pressed her milky white hand into his and kissed it gently as he continued to speak. “I did not wish to hurt your mother or you when I took you that day in the meadow. I was just so struck with your beauty, I did not think. Because of this your mother has let the plants and flowers die away on the earth. This I do not want. Please, Lovely Lily, there is but one thing I must ask of you before this visit can occur. You must promise me that you will return to me once you have made your mother smile again or else I may die from a broken heart.” Hiding Hugo smiled as he saw his love returned in Lovely Lily’s brilliant blue eyes. At that moment he knew that she would return to him, for she had grown to care for him as well.

     “Hiding Hugo, I have longed to see my mother, to laugh and dance once again with her in the clouds,” Lovely Lily said with a timid little voice. “...but I do not wish to leave you. Please, Hiding Hugo, please come with me to the clouds and hide no more.”

Hiding Hugo wanted to go with his Lovely Lily, but he knew he could not live amongst the clouds, for he was a man of the earth. His feet would poke through the fluffy, white layers where Lily would float, and he would fall once again to the ground. “Oh my Lovely Lily, how I would love to live with you in the clouds. I have always wondered what it would be like to rest upon them and peer down from them at the earth below, but alas, I cannot. I must stay here where I know how to survive, to live amongst the caves and rocks of the underground. I must stay to rule this place, to make sure nothing bad escapes to the surface.” Hiding Hugo’s eyes became wet with tears. Lovely Lily loved him instantly.

“Hiding Hugo, my love, I will go then and dance with my mother, but I will return to you as soon as the earth is brilliant with colored flowers, and there is food enough for all to eat. I promise you I will be with you again.” Lovely Lily rushed to her handsome Hiding Hugo and held him tight as he swung her around in glee. “When I return, we will dance here in your world and be happy together.”

     It was only the next morning when Hiding Hugo carried his Lovely Lily to the surface once more. She ran to the place where the clouds met the earth and began climbing the stairs to her home in the clouds. Once she reached the top, Lovely Lily turned to her handsome Hiding Hugo and blew him a kiss. He bowed and quickly retreated back to his underground hideaway.

     Lovely Lily ran to the place where her mother, Precious Priscilla, sat weeping. “Mother,” she cried, “I have returned to you, to dance and laugh and make the world a beautiful, green place once more.”

Precious Priscilla rushed to her daughter’s open arms and held her tight for a long time. The sorrow and grief instantly drained from her body leaving a beautiful smile on her face. “Oh, my Lovely Lily, you have returned. For I have missed you so.” Precious Priscilla once again hugged her daughter, thankful that she was safe.

     “Mother, we must dance and laugh and bring food back to the earth. You have gone too long without happiness in your life and it has affected all those who count on you. Mother, please, make the earth green again, put fruit on the trees and grasses in the fields. I will tell you of my journey when all is restored.” Lovely Lily took her mother’s hand and led her to the edge of the clouds, pointing to the ground below.

     Precious Priscilla was shocked at what she saw. The ground had become brown and barren, the trees lay dead on their sides. “Oh, Lovely Lily, I did not know. It is so sad. The earth looks so bleak. Let us go now and play our games and dance our dances. Nature will once again shine because my Lovely Lily has come home to me.”

Precious Priscilla and her only daughter, Lovely Lily, danced, and laughed and smiled together making the earth come back to life. Lovely Lily told her mother of her handsome husband, Hiding Hugo, and of the promise she had made him.

     “Mother,” Lily said quietly, “I do not wish to upset you, but I plan to return to my Hiding Hugo because I love him. I believe I have devised a wonderful plan that will satisfy all. I will stay with you for nine months of the year so that the earth can grow food, and stay beautiful for the people. Then I will return to the underground for the other three months to be with my Hiding Hugo.” Lovely Lily pleaded with her mother to understand. “I must go to him then to allow the earth a time to rest and to make a home there with my husband, for he cannot live with us in the clouds.” Lovely Lily’s beautiful smile persuaded her mother to listen.

     “I understand, my Lovely Lily. You must live your life as an adult now. We will have three seasons together, you and I, laughing and smiling, bringing life to the earth. We will call these seasons spring, summer and fall,” Priscilla went on, trying to be strong for her daughter. “Then, though I will be sad to see you go, you must return to your husband. We will call this season winter because the ground will be covered in a blanket of fresh snow. This plan will suit me. Thank you, my Lovely Lily, for such a wonderful plan. Maybe someday I too, will come to visit you in your underground home, if you would not mind?”

     “Oh Mother, that would be lovely. Hiding Hugo will welcome you and so shall I. I must go now to tell him of our wonderful plan, then I will return again to you as the season changes. I love you, my mother, for you are a generous and caring woman.” Lovely Lily again descended the cloud stairway and ran across the meadow, waving to her smiling mother in the clouds.

     Lovely Lily did return to the clouds in the springtime as she had promised her mother. Every year, ever after, Lovely Lily is there with her mother, Precious Priscilla, dancing and laughing for three seasons of the year, bringing life to the earth. Then every year, when fall begins to fade, Lovely Lily returns to her handsome Hiding Hugo’s underground land, and winter takes over the earth.

End

By Rhonda Frankhouser