When I turned 60 years old I declared myself a crone. Today I am 68 years old and it is time to review my progress.
When I first made my declaration I did some study. I learned that “croning” was a ritual rite of passage into an era of wisdom, freedom and personal power. I identified 3 women who were my guides in understanding the possibilities for strength in aging…(my grandmother) Katharine Larrabee Foster, (my aunt) Belle Walker, and (a dear friend) Nancy Simmons. Very different from one another they each were authentic and demonstrated increasing personal power with their aging. They remain valued loadstars.
Affirming any “wisdom” I have accrued remains elusive. The older I get the less I believe in absolutes…so it is kind of like standing on shifting sand. I continue to see many possibilities and have increasingly moved away from affirming that there is only one right way. When in the presence of those who live by black and white certainty, I still fight an urge toward judgmental righteousness though I spend much less time in such hopeless encounters. I do chuckle a bit more now when encountering the determined know it all and I have come to trust karma as a built-in force of reckoning.
As for “freedom”….here I have made real progress. I have unfettered myself from most “shoulds” (the responsibilities laid on by my upbringing.) I put myself and my health first now. I am, however, aware that aging means diminishing body and mind and some days this impacts my sense of freedom. I hope I can strengthen my amusement in the challenges posed by these new developments. I believe crones can boldly cackle!
My sense of personal power took some major hits with a PTSD diagnosis but I am pleased to report a unifying comeback is underway. While I am not entirely comfortable in my own skin, my curiosity remains strong and I am increasingly experiencing the thrill of new possibilities. Others identify me as fairly compassionate and I believe my commitment to “kairos” living enhances this. I hope my grandchildren will identify me as authentic…though right now I take pride in myself as eccentric.
Crones can be experienced as nasty or malicious though I don’t think this describes me accurately. Yes… I can be brutally honest with those I love ….though I have to be extremely disrespected for that expression. I would choose rather to focus on the magical and helpful supernatural associations of the crone. These seems to come fairly easily for me!
(Photo is from a website boundariesarebeautiful)