And there were the days of long ago when legend and lore were born. The more learned of our ancestors tell us that, about 4,000 years ago, our primitive forefathers began to question the forces that ruled their lives. They interrogated their elders and the wiser ones, asking about the mysterious forces that allowed the sun to shine and the rain to fall. They asked why the land with its flowers took on new and beautiful colors in the springtime. They were curious about why the heavens pulled a star-filled blanket over the meadows at night and who it was that awakened the dawn.
The possibilities seemed without end, yet the answers elusive. The people were told of the gods that rousted the golden team of magic horses from their stalls at dawn to pull their wagon of fire across the heavens each day. They were told the Goddess Aurora painted the dawn skies with her furnace red fingers of flame. Such questions were mainly about who allows such events to happen rather than what are the unknown forces that respond. Thunder and lightning were ascribed to Jupiter, recklessly flinging bolts of fire amid his foes. Then there was the tale of a beautiful Echo who, unable to speak for herself, could only mock others’ words to describe the spread of spring vegetation, caused by Iris trailing her gown of many colors beside the rainbow paths. Otherwise, we might find it hard to explain the profusion of violets and wild iris, the spiderwort and dandelion marching in unheralded confusions of color and beauty across a greening landscape.
We like to believe, in these more modern times, we have found answers through our observing the overwhelming natural forces, yet we find it hard not to cling to the myths and powers, proclaimed as truth by the self-appointed prophets of old.
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