January 27, 2015
Working on areas of weakness is a job for life, even for a crone who feels freed from many of the challenges of earlier years. What in youth is thought to be a minor mistake, later on in life can have more serious consequences. A moment of inattention, for example, may lead to a fall, and the physical body is not as resilient as it used to be. In the mental/emotional realm one may feel the weight of a tactless comment more deeply, and the resulting lack of ease creates a negative pattern that can be difficult to overcome.
Sometimes, the work of growth seems harder than usual. With several issues having come into my life lately, today, I look to nature for assistance. My perimeter walk begins at 10:50 am and ends at 11:30. I am surprised when I see the time. I thought I had been out and about for less than 20 minutes. Not ready to go back inside, I do some easy weeding after last night’s rain.
I lost my sense of time on this walk. Was it because I was so very present? I’m not sure. Was the walk a distraction from something that had made me uncomfortable? Wisdom is often wrung from the muck of experience. Inside the house, I am ready to rest. The subject of growth, at some point, is best left to germinate with non-interfering compassion.
When I look up the word “crone” in the Random House Dictionary, I cringe as I read, “an ugly, witch-like old woman.” There is something missing here, I want to cry out. To me the real journey of the crone moves through a fluid inner world able to see that which appears ugly to the world as a potential for greater understanding and love.
Withstanding the turmoil of conflicting forces, on the other side of paradox, that is where growth often happens. Recognizing where I am weak, where I need work, where I need to acknowledge something overlooked, where there is discomfort, those are places where a crone may practice courage and continue to find her strength and humanity. As an important part of this process, over the years, has been my commitment to meditation and yoga as a continuing source of refreshment.
I dip into a long-time favorite book by Susun S. Weed, Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way/Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90. I look for her definition of the word crone and discover what I know intuitively. There is no easy, specified path to achieve “the wise woman way.” Each of us must define our own path for growth.