A Tribute to Aging: Cronehood
Special to the Sun
I once wrote a column for the Sierra Sun entitled, “Welcome to Cronehood” for women entering that magical time of life when nothing is the right temperature and she is beset by the sudden onset of moods, ideas and urges that change without warning, like a U-turn in the middle of a busy freeway, frightening and offending office partners, spouses, children, pets and occasionally even inorganic matter.
However, these manifestations of entering into Cronehood are mere inklings of the transformation taking place. The Crone, in her full becoming, deserves celebration and reverence if she is to fully realize her true nature, a divine place where she learns to live more fully for herself. At first, this change of season feels so foreign she may feel she has been transplanted into a desolate place. She feels disoriented, breathless in wondering where she might find someone to offer her permission to explore this new territory, boundless and open where she suddenly sees her own horizons.
She feels intuitively she has earned her place as a wise woman; the quintessential alchemist; one who suddenly feels entitled to use language efficiently, effectively and truthfully. She now embodies both beauty and the dark and stormy corners of herself she may previously have kept in the broom closet or the medicine cabinet with the Midol, the tampons and the anti-depressants. The corners and folds of herself that, in fairy tales, are depicted as the evil witch with warts and green skin, are now invited out so they are no longer oppressed but allowed to participate as the edgy, wary and suspicious aspect, so necessary in acuity and scope of her vision. Where she once apologetically offered her viewpoint, she now engages with the darkness and edginess and a robust appetite.
As artist, magician and medicine woman, she is both loving mother and sensual, sexual female. As priestess in her landscape, which she has tilled and turned over the years, gathering all the bones of herself, she is capable of giving love that soothes and nourishes, yet she is also capable of withering one with her anger, quick and precise. She no longer wants to waste words or time dancing around what is true. She has indeed communed with death as her life takes a turn, away from a time of birthing and mothering and toward a time of her own. Perhaps she bears scars on her body from birthing or suffering of another kind ” undoubtedly bearing scars in the folds of her heart from love and loss. Her body may be decorated with scars, deliberate wounds that have been sewn up leaving empty places behind.
The mourning of losses and the transformation from grief to celebration is sometimes a long journey. In this journey, she acquires her wisdom and she becomes quieter, more attuned, as if she can hear sounds on a frequency unavailable to the average ear and she sees through a third eye, trained on what is within and what is without at the same time. No longer at the center of a circle where she fed, tended and nurtured those whom she constellated around her, she now stands at the periphery, surveying all from the margins of the world where she has a fuller, more complete view.
” Kimball Pier is a practicing therapist and substance abuse counselor. She has an M.S. in marriage and family therapy and advanced divorce mediation certification. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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