Hades and Persephone: Spring (Or Demeter and the Tree)

Mama!

My girl! My darling—my spring leaf—my sunbeam—finally you've returned to me! I thought the winter would never end.

So did I. Oh Mama, I missed you so much I cannot begin to say.

Let me hold you and kiss your hair—let me look at you. Child, you are so pale and your eyes are ringed in darkness. Are you well—does he hurt you?

He does nothing but dote on me. I am well Mama, as well as I can be. It is only that I've been away from the sun for so long.

Of course. Come—let us sit in the meadow and enjoy the day. We haven't much time—though the days grow longer every hour—and I wish to spend every moment with my daughter—my only light. I grieved for you and it hurts that you are so far from me, and you come back looking like a shadow. If he does not treat you well you will tell me?

Of course Mama. But really I have little to complain about but oh! I am so glad to be up and out and free—well, free enough…

I'm sorry child. I'm sorry I could not save you. I did what I could but it is hardly enough. It seems the burden of a parent to fail their children.

What more could you have done? You twisted Zeus' arm and the rules of Fate to give me half a life worth living and I suppose I am grateful.

There is always more that could be done. There are always more options than we care to acknowledge.

Mama, what are you saying? That you could have saved me from a love I do not want and a life I did not ask for? If you could have prevented it, why didn't you? Why didn't you go to any lengths? Peneus turned Daphne into a tree to save her from Apollo but you—

Oh, would you prefer to spend your days as a bay tree—leaves adorning the curls of undeserving mortal heroes, rooted immoveable to the same hillside? At least I've given you the freedom to move. Even the Goddess of the Earth would not wish Daphne's fate on anyone—let alone her own daughter! Peneus is a fool and so are you if you envy his methods.

I just want to know what else you could have done.

I could have made a deal with Fate—gone in your place—started a war—sent heroes after you—let whoever brought you back marry you. But I couldn't risk the wrath of Fate and all of Mount Olympus. So I compromised and I grieved and I hope Hades suffers.

Hades suffers, Mama. You needn't worry about that.