Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The calla lillies are in bloom again . . .

Well, actually it's the hyacinth that's in bloom again in my neighborhood. Walking down the street, every once in a while there will be a hint of that divine perfume. I love it.

And speaking of divine, hyacinth also plays a part in one of the many gay Greek myths. Hyacinth was a youth who was beloved by Apollo. Zephyros, the god of the West Wind, was also in love with Hyacinth, but hey, he was a troll and Apollo was hot.

At one point, Apollo was throwing a discus and Zephyros, jealous and angry at being rejected, blew the discus off course and caused it to smash into Hyacinth, killing him.

Apollo was so devasted that he wouldn't allow Hades to take Hyacinth into the underworld and begged him to give the boy life again. Hades refused, but from Hyacinth's blood a flower bloomed and Apollo's tears stained its leaves.

In another version of the tale, very similar to the myth of Persephone, Zeus granted Hyacinth immortality, but he could only live with Apollo for six months. The other six months were to be spent in the underworld. When he moved from the underworld to Olympus, the flowers that bore his name would blossom.

I like that ending a little better.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I agree. The second version is much better!