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As if Persephone wouldn’t head straight to Cancun after six dismal months with that depressing Hades guy? Psh, yeah right. Step aside mom, it’s time to hit the beach.

Maybe check out Vince’s new beer bong.

I don’t know anything about the average Spring Break. I’ve been a terrible college student…

It’s spring time here in the great North East. Massachusetts has been warming quickly, the grass is starting to go from that heart achingly muddy shade of brown to rich emerald hues all around the state. Flowers poke their way up through the soil and blossom, trees are beginning to bud, and drunk idiots are heading down to warmer destinations to get even more drunk for a week. It’s Spring Break! Wooo!

The ancient Greeks, like most cultures, had all kinds of wonderful stories about the natural world. The tale of Persephone and Hades is one of my favorites in all of Greek myth, it goes a little something like this:

Persephone, a lovely young woman, and one of the minor deities of the Greek pantheon, lived in the countryside with her mother Demeter, an earth goddess generally associated with grains and harvest. They lived apart from the other gods to keep Persephone away from the males’ lustful hands and to be close to the land the two of them loved so much. The male gods made attempts to woo Persephone but Demeter rejected all their advances and sent them back to Olympus empty handed. It was Hades, lord of the Underworld, who fell for her the hardest. Knowing he would never be able to win her hand legitimately, Zeus advised his brother to carry the young lady off and cut Demeter out of the picture entirely, a strategy the younger God used to great success.

One day, whilst out picking flowers, Persephone was shocked when the ground split open and the King of the Dead flew forth, grabbed her in his arms, and carried her off to his realm beneath the earth. Demeter, not knowing what had transpired, searched and searched for her daughter to no avail. Her despair brought about terrible events on the earth. The crops failed, the plants withered, the earth dried up, the warmth of the sun seemed to shine with less vigor on the land. Her daughter was gone and she was alone. The people of the earth suffered. Helios, the sun god, saw what was happening and revealed what had occurred to Demeter who became furious. Seeing that the current state of affairs was untenable, Zeus stepped in and forced Hades to return Persephone to her mother. Hades complied, but not before tricking the girl into eating a few pomegranate seeds. Having tasted the food of the Underworld, Persephone was now bound to it and had to return every year for several months. During that time, Demeter’s despair wracks the land. As she suffers, so too do the people of earth.

But every year, when her daughter returns to her, the land rejoices and so do the people…

…though they clearly do it in different ways.

I hope everyone has (or has had, if it has already passed for you) a lovely Spring Break!

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