One day, as Persephone was picking flowers, unbeknownst to her Hades, the god of the underworld happen to look upon her and suddenly fell in love with her divine beauty. He went to his brother Zeus and asked for his help. Zeus knowing the loneliness of his brother decided to help him.
But Zeus knew that Demeter loved Persephone deeply and would not part with her, so he suggested Hades abduct Persephone and whisk her away. And so, the plan was set in motion.
As Persephone was playing with her companions, she noticed a beautiful yellow flower, narcissus. She asked her playmates to accompany her to retrieve this flower. But her playmates being Sea Nymphs couldn’t leave water as it would result in their death. And so, Persephone decided to venture on her own.
She pulled and pulled with all her force, and finally Narcissus came out. And then the tiny hole from which she had pulled out the flower shaft started growing in size rapidly, until it started to resemble a mighty chasm. The ground beneath her split open, she slipped within and was swallowed whole by the Earth. Thus, Hades was able to trap her in his underground kingdom where he eventually made her his wife.
At first Persephone was unhappy in the Underworld, but in time she came to love Hades. Meanwhile, Demeter searched everywhere for her beloved daughter, stricken with grief. Growing more anxious and despondent, she started to neglect her duty of making the earth bloom and bear fruit and crops. The trees started shedding their leaves and cold swept the land, followed by snow, and still Demeter looked for Persephone and wept for her. It was the first autumn and winter of the world.
Finally, Helios, the sun god, told her what had happened. Demeter, filled with rage, demanded Zeus to bring their daughter back to her. Zeus relented and asked Hermes to go to the underworld and tell Hades to give up his Ill-gotten wife. Hades was not that eager to let Persephone go, but when Hermes explained what had happened to the world of men in her absence by her mother’s side, Hades agreed to let her go.
Before letting her go with Hermes, he offered her pomegranate seeds. Persephone ate six of them. Hades knew that if she ate the food from the underworld, she would be bound to it. When Demeter saw her daughter, she was full of joy and the earth began blooming again. The first spring of the world had arrived.
Demeter spent a lot of joyous time with Persephone, and the earth’s fruit became ripe- the first summer took its shape. But then, Persephone told her about the seeds, and how she had to return to her husband. Demeter was saddened and furious. And so, Zeus struck an accord with Hades, that Persephone would spend half the year with Demeter and the other half with Hades in the underworld.
Ever since, when Persephone is with Demeter, there is spring and summer, and when she leaves to be with Hades, there is autumn and winter.