Myth: Why snow is white

Prompt: Write a myth.  Use a spider diagram to bring out synonyms and some word association and build up a story from a single word such as: SNOW.   2/6/10 (maybe 1/30/10?)

Myth: explain why snow is white.

            Listen well, dear ones, for it is important to learn the lesson hidden in the story of why the Goddess of light made the snow white. 

            In the beginning when the rhythms of life were set down, the Gods and Goddesses worked together to create a dynamic balance: life and death, warm and cool, light and dark, planting and harvest, fullness and emptiness.  Rather than any one aspect dominating over all, the divine beings ordained that everything would ebb and flow, complementing and working with every other aspect in an intricate dance of existence.

            But listen to this and tremble.  At the beginning when it was ordained that there would be seasons, the Gods and Goddesses wanted as much as possible for summer.  And so summer was given warmth, gentle breezes, brightness, and long, long stretches of daylight.  And Dear ones do you not see that this led winter to be given short, harsh days filled with cold and cutting winds.  Worst of all, dear ones, it was grey and drab and lifeless.  A sheet of grey snow covered the land hiding all color.  All the beauty had been poured into summer, the verve and fecundity had gone to summer.  The divine beings felt it was worth the winter price, worth the harsh grey lifeless months.  After all – the dynamic balance must be honored.  Life and death each received their due.

            Over the years, however, it was discovered that the people could not survive the price exacted by winter.  Year after year more of the people despaired and died.

            Finally a hero arose and cried out to the Gods and Goddesses.  A youth stepped forward and sought the realm of the Gods and Goddesses to plead for the people and seek release from the awful conditions of winter, from the harsh grey cover of snow over all.

            After many adventures and trials the youth was granted audience.  The divine beings heard his plea – the people were despairing and dying.  The price of winter was to high – summer’s glory reigned too great.  But, dear ones, the Gods and Goddesses would not relent.  The dynamic balance must be honored.  Summer needed its greatness, its warmth and brightness, its long days and beauty.  How else would abundance spring forth?  How else would life endure if not for the fullness of summer?  And with summer full, winter must be empty.  Dear ones, they sent the youth away.

            But the youth was not easily deterred.  Hear that, dear ones, and learn: the youth was not deterred by the refusal of the Gods and Goddesses.  Instead the youth took the people’s plight to one Goddess in particular, the clever Goddess of color and lights.  Surely somewhere there was a solution.  The Goddess of color and light considered the request from the youth and her heart was moved with compassion for the people.

            But what could she do?  She could not take light from summer, not the vibrant colors.  Winter was doomed to have little light and only a few colors – certainly none of the vibrant and bright colors.

            Yet the youth was not deterred and the Goddess did not turn her back.  Instead a clever idea awoke in the youth.  The idea was fed and encouraged by the Goddess.  And together they created a solution to both save the people and honor the dynamic balance of existence. 

            So simple a shift, but the effect was enough: from grey to white – hardly a drop’s difference in the grand dynamic balance.  The Goddess pulled some bright whiteness from each of the other seasons and threw it all into winter, switching the dominant color from grey to white.

            And suddenly what little light there was shown brilliant, reflected on the white snow.  The Goddess added no light or brightness to the season, but the white snow’s reflection doubled the small amount of light and the effect was enough.

            Now, dear ones, we have winter and it is cold and biting and hard.  But the brilliant white of the snow staves off the despair lurking in this time of year with a simple unadorned beauty.  We people can not live in the absence of life.  The compassion of the Gods and Goddesses allowed that some brilliant reflective light should still shine for us, even in the darkest and hardest hours of life.

            Hear this, dear ones.  Hear this lesson and live.


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