By Maggie Fenton
“April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay
April does seem like an idiot here in my part of the world – one that can’t make up its mind what it wants to be. Bright, warm and sparkling or cold, windy and dreary. All within a twenty-four-hour period.
Nature is answering the call and blooms are popping out everywhere. My daily prayer is that the next cold snap doesn’t render them all brown and dead. This is the month that can drive a gardener crazy. The hands are eager to dig in the dirt and plant things but the practical brain says, “Wait!” For the most part, I stay practical. I plant things in pots that can be brought inside. I rake and pull weeds but don’t sow seeds.
Leaving the window open at night, I fall asleep with the chorus of spring peepers, singing “Pick me! Pick me!” and wake up with the birds singing the same song. April is proof of life. In spite of.
It’s something I need after this past year. You?
I’d like to introduce you to our newest board member, Ruth Cohen. Ruth is from Portland, Oregon and was the chair-woman for the 2020 gathering which, unfortunately, had to be cancelled. Her organizational skills, sensibility and experiences will be very appreciated by the other board members.
I have this inner wild woman who wants to do crazy, risky things! The latest is she wants to go to a crowded bar in the mountains, stand shoulder to shoulder with strangers, drink and hustle guys! What should I do?
P.S. I’m happily married and want to stay that way!
Dear Wild Woman,
It is a wonderful thing to have an active fantasy life. We can travel to exotic places and have far flung adventures all within the safety of own home. The trouble begins when we start acting on those fantasies.
Your wild woman is in conflict with the one that wants to stay happily married. Which one will win?
I suggest you give in to the wild woman … but not as you’re thinking. Here are two alternatives.
Plan 1: Send the responsible, reliable husband out for errands that will take about 4 hours. Once he is safely out the door and your phone is muted, start your fantasy trip. Maybe it involves a long, rose-water infused bubble bath, body oils, a silk robe, any other luxury item you might need and most importantly, B.O.B – your Battery-Operated Boyfriend! (Now, don’t be aghast ladies … you can buy them on Amazon under Health and Personal Care, Sexual Wellness. It will be delivered to your doorstep in an innocuous Amazon package. No one but you need to know.)
Now, turn that Wild Woman loose and let your fantasy life take over. When Hubby gets home, give him that Mona Lisa smile and tell him how great life is.
Plan 2: Or invite your husband to join your fantasy journey. Have him dress in a plaid flannel shirt and dirty jeans then channel his inner lumberjack who has been isolated in the forest for months. Serve him a couple of shots of whisky and turn on your seductive hustler. Could be fun.
At this point, I think we’d all like to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other human beings, but until the pandemic passes, we must be safe because we are in the high-risk group. Stay in your bubble, but infuse it with your wild, sexy imagination.
My Journey to Crones Counsel
By Ruth Cohen
In 2017, I suffered from a significant back injury. While on bed rest, I perused the internet. Because I was working with women who were at mid-life, I started researching “Crones”. And that research led me to Crones Counsel.
I looked at the website and felt like I had found “my tribe”. “…Claiming the Archetype of Crone through creation of gatherings that honor and advance aging women’s value to society…” WOW! I had found a new home.
I healed enough to attend that year’s gathering in Salt Lake City. The women I met and the overall experience just reinforced what up until then I had only known through the website.
The following year, I drove to Bellingham with Kaya Singer. During the Gathering, we hatched the idea that Crones Counsel should come to Oregon. Ultimately, we pitched the idea to the Mother Board and the planning process started for October 2020.
I have great respect for the difficult decision the Mother Board made in March of 2020 to cancel that year’s Gathering. And that was only in March, before anyone could fully conceive how the pandemic would affect us 8 months later. Wise women indeed.
I look forward to the time when we can again gather in person and I hope to have the chance to invite you back to Portland. In the meantime, technology has allowed us to gather virtually…it isn’t perfect, but it certainly goes a long way to keeping us connected.
Skip to My Lou No More
By Maggie Weisberg
One evening, as I was walking back to my apartment, smiling to myself, happy and lighthearted, I suddenly thought, hey, I feel like skipping. “OK, so skip” my brain commanded.
Nothing happened. No body part moved. Feet wouldn’t leave the floor. Arms went stiff, knees locked. I was stuck glued to the ground, staring down the corridor, which suddenly looked long and lonely.
I can’t remember the last time I skipped, or even thought of it. I can walk –why can’t I skip? I don’t know why I’m so surprised. I’m 87 years old, and there are plenty of things I can no longer do. I saw those things coming and they gradually became part of my identity. But I never imagined I wouldn’t be able to skip: that touches a special nerve. It’s an obscene insult; the irrevocable stamp of age. Such a simple act — a metaphor for everything young, playful and spontaneous.
There’s a vivid picture of me and a friend skipping down the sidewalk. Twelve years old, the sun is shining, the world clean and fresh. We’re moving through space just because we can. I remember how easy, carefree, effortless.
Without thought or plan, feet move, hands swing, body rises and falls rhythmically. For a fraction of a second, you’re airborne; both feet leave the ground, you’re off the earth, soaring, flying. The act of skipping is joyous.
It giggles with optimism and excitement. Could you skip if you were sad, worried, or angry? I can’t imagine how.
Surely this isn’t the greatest loss old age will bring. And surely, I can accept this. Wrong. I will NOT submit gracefully. I will NOT be silent. I intend to scream and curse and protest this particular loss forever; to never cease remembering and lamenting the delicious lightness, brightness and joy of a simple skip!
What is Joy?
By Kaya Kotzen
Joy is a set of two year old twins skipping down the sidewalk,
smiling and laughing as their mom walks behind them.
It is the while doves that circle the lake above the kayakers and
paddle boarders with the sun beating down on the water
causing ripples to shine like twinkling stars.
Joy is a Sunday morning of sunshine, without a cloud in the sky,
mountains in the distance, people walking and bicycling,
and just being out enjoying familiar past times from our old normal world.
Occasionally I put my mask up when I’m passing a crowd while on my
bike and then I take it down to breathe the air. I remember to stay safe,
but still enjoy the ride.
Joy is being able to make a choice to be safe, to be well, and still be
happy enjoying the great outdoors, even during Covid.
Julene Evans Fisher
1946 – 2021
West Valley, Ut—Our beloved Julene Evans Fisher died on January 7th, 2021. She was the best among us: brave in the face of adversity, strong in the face of pain, loving beyond measure. She was a teacher at heart, and we are all better for, and will never forget, her example.
Julene faced death when she was 23, she saw the calm, beautiful light of death, and returned. That beautiful experience shaped the rest of her life. Her spirituality grew into her greatest strength.
Julene Evans was born on December 26th, 1946, the second child of Norma Tree and Rawlin J. Evans. Her older brother, Rawlin Albert, was her protector from birth, as she was for her younger sister, JoNell. Read more on Legacy.com.