Once upon a time, people were attuned to the signs of nature and adapting their lives to them. Instead of cutting mountain tops and digging holes in the oceans, they were paying attention and being inspired.
When they were seeing in the North that the daylight grew shorter, they knew to save their energy those shortest days of the year (except for the shortest one when they celebrated the return of the light)
When sailors this time of year were seeing the first Halcyons building nests on the sea (King Fisher), they knew the seas will be calm for the next 2 weeks, while they were hatching their eggs.
And when they were paying attention to these interesting goings on, they were inspired to make up stories to explain the strangeness.
Once upon a time there were a Queen and King who loved each other very much.
Alcyone was the daughter of Eolus (the winds God) and Ceyx was the son of Eosphorus (the Morning Star). And for some reason, they indulged in a little role playing pretending they were Zeus and Hera – although those two were hardly a couple to be emulated, why him with the cheating and her with the jealousy.
And imitation is not always flattery, not with the vengeful Hera. They decided to punish the blasphemers – and a thunderbolt hit the ship Ceyx was sailing in (thrown by Zeus
who had much to make up for to Hera).
Alcyone’s grief moved them however so they commuted the death sentence into metamorphosis instead.
So, both the dead husband and the grieving wife became very alive birds,
who immediately went on building nests on the sea (where all this was taking place), and started a family.
And since this was a moment of mercy from the gods, the waters calmed down for the duration.
I am sure that at the time the myth was considered a cautionary tale against hubris. But for me it’s still the triumph of love over death (and unreasonable godly wrath).
So, for all those reasons, I like to turn to the mindset of these olden days and not allow the storms of life to touch my nest – at least for the following two weeks, until the sun comes back long enough to help us cope.
So, until that time comes, be cool!