Persephone is the daughter and helper of the goddess Demeter and Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and of all plants. Persephone was the most devoted of daughters and Demeter was the most loving of mothers and everything they did was done together.
Persephone was beautiful and Pluto, god of the underworld, was greatly enamoured of her as he watched her from his dark kingdom and so he approached Demeter asking to take Persephone to wife.
Demeter loved her daughter and constant companion very much and would not entertain the thought of her daughter living so far from her side in the underworld and so the offer of Pluto was rejected without hesitation. Pluto, however, could not accept the rejection for great was his desire for Persephone so he went on to kidnap Persephone and took her back to the underworld as his wife where her sun-kissed skin turned to palest white and her joy filled heart was slowly overcome by sadness.
The heart of Demeter was broken at the loss of her daughter and she set off to search the world for her beloved daughter and without the touch of the goddesses' hand, the crops failed and the plants began to die so that all mankind was in danger of perishing from the earth. To save mankind, Zeus commanded a compromise between Pluto and Demeter that they would share equally in the time and love of Persephone.
As Persephone returned to her mother, all manner of plants came forth from the earth and the earth was filled with flowers and fruit in abundance but as the time came for Persephone to return to the underworld to be with Pluto, so the plants would shrivel away and thus were the seasons of the earth born - spring reflecting the joy for the return of the daughter, summer reflecting her presence in the world, autumn as she returns to the underworld and winter in mourning at her absence from the world.