A long time ago, before people walked the earth, the seasons were more than changes in the leaves and wind, but how did they come to be how they are today?
I glided past the treetops, making my way to the center of the forest. The growth underneath me blurred as I finally landed on a tall branch, my small wings unable to fly as far as other, older birds could. What first caught my eyesight were four looming wispy figures hovering slightly above the ground.
The four beings were familiar sights anywhere on Earth, as they were needed for their duties, and wanted attention from their godly acts. I watched them from above as did a few other creatures who happened to be close by.
I groaned inwardly to the sound of bickering, and I had a feeling that the creatures nearby did the same. I then heard the angered tone of the four gods get louder, and the winds blew harder. In fear, the few animals who had been watching ran away, and all too suddenly, I saw one of the gods look up at me and call me down.
The one who had called me down was the tallest and oldest looking one called Spring. She was personally my favorite, because she was the kindest to us lower beings, and made the trees and flowers bloom, so I relaxed a bit more. I looked to see the rest of the gods who were looking down at me with differing levels of dominance.
The two gods next to Spring were Summer and Winter. Summer was loud and boisterous. I didn’t like him a lot, for he would look down at us just because he could make the weather turn hotter. Winter was similar in this way. Winter looked down at us as well, just in a more subdued way. His job was to make what he called “snow” and let the old leaves die out, so new ones could come back in a few months.
I could just barely make out the silhouette of the last and youngest god in the shadows of the trees. They were named Fall. They follow their older siblings around a lot, but they tended to do their duties the least. They did this out of fear or timidity I presume, so this caused a bit of unbalance. That didn’t mean they liked the cheers we gave them any less though. They were also the one I saw the least flying around casually before their merging.
As I landed on a lower branch to answer Spring's call, I saw that the four looming beings had started arguing again, and I noticed how the atmosphere surrounding us started fighting for control. Snow flurries would fall to the ground for a few seconds, before the temperature around us would get hot and humid. It then changed to a calming breeze with flower petals blowing past, before morphing once more into an orange, red, and yellow pattern.
This hadn’t happened before when they bickered, so my worries grew, and they only turned bigger when I heard their question: “Bird, who among the four of us, is the most powerful, and loved god?” Winter towered over me as he asked.
“Ah, my lord! I couldn’t possibly answer that. It is too hard to decide!” I panicked.
The four gods sighed in defeat at the answer, although it seemed like they knew that I would answer in this manner either way.
“I only wish there were some way to find out, even though it is obvious that my season is loved by the most, and my flowers are prettier than your snow, leaves, or sun.” Spring sighed in indignance.
“Are you actually serious? My sun is the one that gives the plants the most food. It is clear that I am the most powerful and loved here!” Declared Summer, angered at the thought of Spring’s superiority over him.
“The both of you calm down. Anyways, it is clearly me who is the most powerful, have you seen the creatures’ faces when they see my powdered forests?” Winter objected to both gods. I looked at all of them in hidden disdain. Maybe I should try to help them get along. It shouldn't be that hard, after all, they are siblings, and their arguments are stupid anyways. I thought to myself, but just as I was about to speak up again, Fall materialized from the bushes. They seemed eager to speak up to the older gods.
“I think that I give the animals the most happiness from how I give them my beautiful orange leaves and my cool breeze, uhm, but since we haven’t been able to decide on this for a while now, how about we make something like a competition? We can all take one part of the earth and maintain them with just one season controlling it, and after a few months, we can each check on all of our parts of the Earth and see whose looks the best.” Fall replied, they seemed happy with their decision, but I also saw a condescending look in their eyes.
They probably thought that they would be able to win the competition with ease, but Fall’s thoughts weren’t my first priority. “B-but my lords, you can’t possibly think that this will end well-” I chirped, my worries were now on overdrive, if the four of them split up and ruled this way, there would surely be a bad outcome.
“I am sorry, bird, but I happen to agree with Fall on this.” Spring smiled, “I think that we should try this out, if we are all in agreement?”
The four gods nodded their wispy heads in quick succesion, they couldn’t possibly think that this was a good idea surely? I saw that they all seemed to have ignored my outburst, with the exception of Spring. I flew back up to a higher branch, if they wouldn’t listen to me now, then they would just have to face the consequences this brings. I watched the four decide on who should pick what side of the earth, and their competition began.
At first, it wasn’t harmful. It actually looked quite pretty, the four contrasting colors of the world blending together at the borders, but months soon passed and I could see the differences almost immediately. I needed to open their eyes to the destruction they had caused, so I flew to the place I knew they would meet up after their competition: the edge of the four borders. I glided in and noticed the quiet in the trees, which was never normal for a forest teeming with the sounds of the calling of creatures and the rustling of the plants.
All I heard was the wind whistling desolately in my ears. I soon found the gods gathered on the edges of their borders. The typical gossip and sighs of disappointment surrounding the four had all but disappeared, and the only creature seen nearby was myself. The sound of my wings alerted the gods and they called out to me.
“Ah, finally, a sign of life! Bird, it seems we cannot agree on who has won the contest, so you have to be the deciding factor, as we cannot seem to agree on who has best maintained their land.” Summer said. He seemed ignorant to what he and his siblings had done.
“My lords, you are all quite foolish if this is the only problem you have! Are you all blind to how you have tarnished our lands? Have you not noticed the eerie silence in the branches? Come with me and I will show you what your tomfoolery has caused!” I glared at them, and although they seemed offended at my outburst, they nodded and followed me to Spring’s land.
At first, I looked around and it seemed there was nothing wrong. The flowers were in full bloom, and it looked just as pretty as how it was a few months ago. Spring puffed her chest out in pride.
“I’m afraid I don’t see anything wrong with my part of the world, little bird.” She smiled, but I gestured for her to take a closer look, and as she did, she noticed that the animals that lived there beforehand were not moving from their slumbers.
“Spring, although your flowers and weather are perfect, the animals here had become mesmerized by its beauty, and they fell asleep in their comfort, and they have never woken up since.” Spring’s smile now turned into a shocked look and I moved to the next land. I immediately felt the change of temperature when I moved to Summer’s land.
The heat was unbearable and the plants were all dried out. The humidity in the air was so thick that I could barely breathe, and I couldn’t imagine how it must have felt for the animals that used to live here. I watched Summer as he looked down in guilt, and I flew to the next corner, and the scenery changed once more.
Orange, red, and yellow leaves covered the forest floor. The creatures below were thin and hungry, unable to find food in the bare environment, and the plants, with the absence of their leaves, had died. Fall now possessed a similar face to the one their two other siblings had, and I kept going to our last destination.
I stopped at the edge of Winter’s borders and saw that his once enchanting winter wonderland, with its snow topped hills and trees, had turned into a chilling blizzard. I could barely see in the snowstorm, but I could only imagine Winter’s face. I flew back to the place they had previously met up, and looked as they pleaded to me for help.
“Please, bird, how do we fix this? You were right, we are unable to do our jobs correctly. We cannot even agree on who should take the most control over the Earth.” The four gods wept in dismay at the lands left in ruin.
I thought of their problem and simply answered: “How about you four take turns? You all have so much trouble agreeing on who is more powerful, but you had forgotten that it does not matter when there is nobody to enjoy your seasons. I think it should not matter if it is powerful, but that it is more important that it helps the world, was that not why you were made originally?”
I saw them widen their eyes and laugh in realization of how easy it had been all this time to come to a compromise, and I knew that they had finally learned their lesson. In the next few years, I watched the seasons soon become more and more orderly, and the arguments became less frequent. The animals slowly came back. The creatures that lived in the water were able to swim in ease without the freezing waters, the birds and insects could fly without the changing breeze, and the land animals could romp around with the knowledge that all was once again righted in the seasons. The plants grew back in different shades of green, and the flowers bloomed once more into vibrant colors as far as the eye could see, and the world was at balance.
I saw that the world was happy with what they had done, and it had decided that the four gods could finally rest after they had righted their past mistakes. I watched as the four gods joined hands and the moment they touched, they merged into a lovely gradient of greens, pinks, oranges, and blues, and they slowly faded away until they were nowhere to be seen, and that was how the four seasons came to be.