Crones Counsel News, February 2023

Maggie Fenton

Today is February 2nd and here, in north central Ohio, if he risked the cold temperatures, the groundhog definitely saw his shadow and according to folklore, we’ll have at least another 6 weeks of winter. Trying to keep my spirits up, I bundled up and went out for a walk with my crazy dog in the cold and sunshine. Celtic tradition marks February 1st as the beginning of spring and I could see evidence of that being the case. I heard birds singing and some of the trees had small buds. Evidence of things to come. Hope for the future.

Later in the day, I met with my virtual Crone Circle. This gift that has arisen out of the isolation of the covid years is a highlight of every month. At the beginning of the year, we pick subjects we’d like to discuss and every Crone takes one or two turns leading the monthly discussion. It is sacred space .. just like the Wisdom Circles at the gatherings have been. We listen to each other, share our lives and sometimes our burdens. I always leave, renewed, and very, very grateful for these women. They give me hope.

Emily Dickenson wrote:

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.”

Hope is essential to our journey. Where do you find it?

Dear Elsie

Hello from Pixler Hill, Winter weary Crones. What better time for celebrations honoring Mother Earth’s slow awakening. Imbolc, Candlemas, St Brigid’s Feast, Groundhog Day, are some of the names we give to this hopeful time of year that symbolizes awakening, new birth and the promise of Spring.

For many February 2 is a day to make predictions as to when winter will loosen its grip on the Northern Hemisphere. For well over 100 years a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has been an entertaining meteorologist predicting how long winter will last. Weather prediction is much more sophisticated now but people still seem to enjoy connecting with the old ways of doing things. Never mind that Phil is correct less than half the time.

This month’s question isn’t related to weather or a nervous groundhog but it does point out that old situations can be new to the next generation. So maybe we elders can offer a little insight and support along the way.

Dear Elsie,

As an older (70’s) first time grandmother I’m amazed by the way new parents are taught to raise and care for their children. To hear them talk, it’s a miracle they survived their own childhood. When an issue comes up with my granddaughter and I offer a suggestion it’s usually met with some version of “that’s not how we do things now, Mom”. She’s 18 months old and entered the biting stage last week. How can I tactfully offer helpful advice?

Wasted Wisdom

Dear Wise Woman,

Most of us can relate to your dilemma in some manner whether we have children or not. The young will find their own way, by making decisions based on the plethora of information available at their fingertips, and hopefully drawing on the life experience of their elders.
When giving advice it may help to consider who the recipient is; daughter, son, student or friend, single, married, independent or appreciating support, opinionated or insecure, and what sort of relationship you have. In most situations you can offer suggestions kindly, acknowledging the younger person’s ability to do what’s right for them. Then let it go.
In your case, fortunately biting doesn’t usually last too long, especially after the little one bites themselves and finds out how it feels.

Enjoy the baby years, Grandma, the next thing you know she’ll be a teenager.


Crones Counsel Spring Equinox Zoom Gathering

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Online Zoom Gathering at 10:00 a.m. PDT, 11:00 a.m. MDT, 12 noon CDT and 1:00 p.m. EDT.
The theme is Crone Memories.
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Long Ago Dream
By Heather Berkemeier

As a senior in high school, I longed to be a writer. I longed to own a beach house down south, listening to the waves lulling me to sleep, phantom cats cuddling me into creativity.
I had my life planned out. My writing room overlooked the ocean while wide, white bookshelves invited time to read and reflect. And when I longed for a break, I could lose myself in my white Grand piano, fingers gracing its keys playing only classical music. I longed to spend my time escaping into my music and poetry.

What did I know? What did I know at eighteen?
I didn’t think I wanted kids. I never had that “baby fever” that other women raved about. Was I selfish? Or did my “first love” break my heart too much? Or was I merely a dreamer? In retrospect, I was a mélange of all.

Yet now, 32 years later, and two kids later, I realize how lonely my life would have been. I am glad I chose to be unselfish. I am glad I chose to love again. I am glad I still write and impart my creative craft passion to my other kiddos–my students.

And most of all, I am heartful with my Cincinnati roots, my best friend husband, my cats, and my Jacob and Lucy blessings.

Simple Climate Action
By Laurie Dameron

Swap out your toilet for an efficient toilet. I received free toilet from the city of Boulder about 6 years ago. I only had to pay $50 for delivery. Here are a couple of links:

Boulder, CO

Denver, CO and beyond rebates 

If you live outside of Colorado just Google – you may be able to find a good deal!

Go a step beyond by the old adage “When it’s clear, leave it here. When it’s brown, flush it down”. This can save many gallons of water for households!