Crones Counsel News, December 2022

By Maggie Fenton

For several years, with the exception of the Covid years, we’ve spent Thanksgiving week at Folly Beach, South Carolina. We wanted a late season vacation without crowds when the weather still allowed for beach walking, fishing, surfing with wet suits for the grandsons and a very low-key holiday. We even found a wonderful local man (The Low Country Chef) who brought an abundance of delicious food for our Thanksgiving feast. Local friends and their children joined us, providing oysters and other South Carolina delicacies.

We’ve stayed in the same house on the beach for several years but because we wanted to take our dog-with-issues (megaesophagus) with us this year, we needed to find a place that allowed dogs. We found a rental on the marsh across the road from the beach. There was still a slight ocean view and we could hear the waves beating against the shore. I had loved watching the tides come and go on the beach, waves often lapping the stairs up to the house and thought I would miss it. However, this year I experienced the quieter rise and fall of the tides in the marshland. The variety of birds was ever changing depending on the level of the water. When it was high, it would rise to within several feet of our place. When it was low, the water was several hundred feet away. I was mesmerized by the changes in the landscape and the wildlife that it brought.

This rhythm … the rise and fall … marked our days. I had a sense of the ocean, the earth, taking long, slow breaths in and out. I recalled Barbara Kingsolver’s essay, “High Tides in Tucson,” in which she writes of a hermit crab which hitched a ride from the beach back to Tucson. The crab adapts, seeming to continue its tidal behavior even though miles away from an actual tidal flow. I wondered how we human animals are unconsciously affected by the breathing earth manifested through the tides even when we are miles away from the shore. Is there an underlying rhythm of nature that controls us, even when we’re unaware?

The seasons have a rhythm too. As we prepare for the Winter Solstice, how do our rhythms change? Do we have a need to hibernate like other animals or go dormant like plants? Do the shorter days bring a shift in our waking / sleeping rhythms? Is the earth breathing us as it does the tides?

I don’t pretend to understand any of this and perhaps it is all foolish thinking (or folly?) I love that there is rhythm and mystery in this life and that, on rare occasion, I get a glimpse.

Dear Elsie

Hello Dear Crones!

Fall is in full swing on Pixler Hill. Green trees, bare limbs, no two hills look alike. The same sort of confusion is apparent all around Mother Gaia, no matter which side of the equator we’re on. The unsettled nature of the Seasons can cause our thoughts to flit hither and yon. It’s surprising what burning questions pop into our heads.

For instance:

Dear Elsie,
I’ve been told that flatulence is more of a problem as we get older (NOT for me, of course!) Is this true? How do you suggest it be handled?

Dear Toots,
Young boys used to think it was hilarious to go around singing, “Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot, the more you toot the better you feel, so eat your beans at every meal.” So, flatulence isn’t only a condition of ageing, perhaps we’re just more sensitive to it now.

What can you do? If there’s a dog around when gas accidentally escapes, look pointedly at the dog and say, “Oh, oh, somebody needs to go outside.” There are dogs that know how to play the game, too. A great old dog named Buford would let one rip, lift his nose in the air, stare at anyone nearby then deliberately walk as far away as possible and lie back down. Might work for people as well.

Breaking wind is a healthy body function that has been given a bad name in “polite” society, so be mindful of what you eat when the occasion warrants it, carry your GasX and try not to worry too much about what other people think. They probably won’t remember it anyway! It could be one of the benefits of old age is that Depends function well as a sound barrier.
Now go enjoy that big bowl of chili!


Poetry By Jeanne Gallick
Concert at the Creek

I sit within the coiling roots
of the white Sycamore, waiting.

First a lullaby of gongs
As the water goes sounds each
Smooth stone against
A drum roll of flowing water.

Then the Soloists begin.
Insect and bird
Each singing infinite variations of
I am here I am me.

A Stolen Moment

Sun on my breasts
Pleasure infinite,
A gift from the Origins
of Space and Time.

I absorb each photon
Deep into my metabolic
Microscopic hearth,
There to cook
Joy, Beauty and Truth.

To hear a Canyon Wren
Again before I die,
To know heaven once more
Before I too disappear
Down infinite canyons of
Birth and death.

Climate Action
By Laurie Dameron

Switch to using recycled toilet paper.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), recycling paper into bathroom tissue requires less water and energy and creates less air and water pollution than making bathroom tissue from timber.