Saturday, December 14, 2013

The halcyon days

According to myth, created by those who never ventured far from the Mediterranean Sea, the Halcyon Days, which begin today (one week before the winter solstice) and which end 2 weeks later, are the weeks when storms never appear.  It is snowing outside my window.

The legend states that the brave sailor Ceyx and his bride Halcyon while much in love, chose unfortunate  pet names for each other, he called his bride Hera (Zeus's wife and the goddess of women), she referred to her lover as Zeus (the primary god).  Their sacrilege proved fatal for Ceyx, when according to Ovid, Zeus threw a thunderbolt at Ceyx's ship, killing all aboard.

Disguised in a dream, Ceyx appeared to Halcyon to tell her of his fate.  In her grief, she threw herself into the ocean and drowned.  The gods taking pity on the young lovers raised them from the dead, and to hide them from Zeus, transformed the couple into birds.  Kingfishers (genus Ceyx) specifically.

These 2 weeks are supposedly the time when the kingfisher lays her eggs on the beach.


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