Embracing the Crone
Growing up in our culture, we are told youth is beauty. Aging is undesirable- even though it’s preferred to death in most cases.
As young girls, we push ourselves to mature- to surpass the golden milestones: thirteen, sixteen, eighteen, and the all-important twenty-one! We pass from child, to maiden.
Then as twenty-something-year-olds, we cringe as thirty approaches. Where did those crinkles around our eyes come from? Is that our mother in the mirror?
The biological clock ticks, tocks. Some of us have children, some not. But all of us pass from maiden to mother. If we aren’t mothers to children, we are mothers to family, pets, friends, even personal undertakings, desires.
We fight off aging, reluctantly getting dragged into our forties and earning the title Middle-Aged. Before you know it, kids are grown, and our fifties peek out from the other side of the mountain. The dreaded “old” is coming for us and we fight it tooth and nail. We exercise like crazy to regain our flat bellies and round butts. We dye, tint, Botox and lift. We look longingly at ourselves in the mirror wondering what happened to our youth and soon find ourselves grasping onto middle-age while that, too, goes floating by.
Aging is inevitable unless the unwanted happens- an untimely death. So why do we abhor it? Is it because all our lives we have been told that older women aren’t beautiful? For centuries, older women have been described as hags, biddies, old crones. No wonder we panic at the thought of aging! Everywhere we look, youth is embraced, cherished, worshiped. In the magazines, the movies, on the billboards. They all tell us “Young is Beautiful.” But what if I told you that aging doesn’t have to be that bad? What if you discovered that some of the trade-offs- firm breast to saggy; smooth skin to wrinkled; sharp eyesight to blurry- were worth it as we achieve grace, self-acceptance and wisdom?
I would like to offer up a different vision of “crone”. A vision that has been embraced by many. One of a wise woman, whose soul shines from eyes crinkled with laughter, wrinkles that hug the compassionate face, a body still strong and able, even with pockets of pillows placed here and there. An elder woman whose dignity and understanding surround her in a light of peace, love, and wisdom. With her, always, the guardian spirit of the owl. Owl reveals wisdom, seeing beyond the dark.
At fifty-five, I step onto the path of the crone, and I invite you to journey with me on this magical, loving path- the Path of the Crone and the Owl.