Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Blessing of the Crone: Beyond talk of Motherhood

As the heat was turned up here in the Pacific Northwest today, we turned our calendars to the month of May.  It is a month that I greet with mixed emotions.  I have for many years now.

Walking into the stores, turning on the television, browsing the status feeds on Facebook or unfolding the weekly paper, we are greeted with reminders that the day is quickly approaching when we will celebrate those who are able to conceive and give birth.  I am well aware that this day, this month, this holiday has different meaning for different people.  I know the history and the way the day has taken shape in recent years.

For many, Mother's Day is a time of celebration.  For some a time of grief.  For others a day that brings up difficult memories and shines light on unhealed wounds.  For some it is a reminder of how far along the journey towards healing they have already come.  For many it is a day of remembrance, reconciliation and pondering.  For me, it is blend of all of the above.

This evening I joined a group of women to discuss a book by Marion Woodman -- Dancing in the Flames: the Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness.  One thread of the conversation examined the striking differences between how our elder women were viewed in ancient societies, (and are still in some cultures today) and how they have been viewed by western society over the years.  Woodman uses the term "crone"  reaching deep into our collective consciousness to retrieve an ancient definition -- a wise woman, in the midst of reconnecting to the earth, to nature, to the Divine, to herself and to all of humanity.  I was blessed to find myself in the midst of a group of wise, elder women, several of whom have embraced the term crone with gusto as a term referring to themselves.

I am deeply grateful for this elder age group.  While many of my contemporaries, and those within a decade of me on either side, are wrapped up in the world of mothering, the crones and I are in a similar state of being.  We are both in the realm of self-examination.  We find ourselves contemplating and redefining old dreams.

In some ways, between my the miscarriages of my children over a decade ago, and my thirteen years as a nanny, I feel a bit like my years of "mothering" have drawn to a close, despite my age.  That season of life is not a present reality.  I have much more in common with the women with silver hair than I have in common with my own age group.

Although my heart sometimes still aches for the season of mothering, I am finding myself more and more content to simply be.  I am in an in-between time.  And I am thankful for the women who have come before me. I am thankful for the communion of the wonderful crones.


You know my heart of hearts, my internal wrestling, and the stretching that has come in my identity over the last decade.  I offer all that I am, and all that I desire, to the wisdom of Your competent hands.  I trust that You will continue shaping, stretching and molding me in every stage of life.  

Thank You for the presence of precious crones in my life.  Thank you for the comfort that they bring.  Thank You for their wisdom.  Thank You for the way they reflect Your light.  You shine through their hearts, their eyes and their silver hair.  When they speak, I hear Your voice.  For all of these gifts, the blessings of the crones, I am deeply grateful.

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