This is my favorite time of year. In Ohio, late September and early October bring cooler air, warmer colors and the frenzy of late season harvest. Every being seems to be getting ready for winter. We’ve been picking the last tomatoes and the winter squash, digging potatoes and cleaning up the gardens. The fields are colored gold with golden rod, purple and white with wild asters. The maples have started putting on their show. The light is coming at a slant, illuminating things differently than in summer. One afternoon I stacked a large pile of black walnuts that I intended to put in the driveway to have ‘shucked’ by car wheels. The next morning when I went out, they were all gone, literally squirreled away. There are lots of walnut trees around here so I’ll find more and will hide them this time. The little buggers can harvest their own!
I think, in our DNA memory, something compels us to store up and prepare. Even if that means going to a farmer’s market to buy apples and pumpkin or bringing in the flower pots from the porch, our bodies as well as our minds know that change is coming. Maybe it’s time for our spirits to harvest too. What are you preparing to do this winter? Have you gathered some good books to read? Made lists of some movies you want to watch? Ordered some new jigsaw puzzles? Decided to start a new art project? We need these things to get through our winters, both the spiritual and actual versions.
I get a daily email called “DailyGood” which I highly recommend. Recently, there was an article about Dugnad (doog-nad), a Norwegian concept about everyone pulling together for the common good. During this particular fall as we prepare for winter, many of us still in isolation, it’s important to reach out to other Crones and help everyone pull together for the common good. Pick up the phone, write a note of encouragement, ZOOM. Reach out and harvest your carefully grown friendships when you’re feeling lonely or down. We will get through this winter.
The September Zoom
Thanks for all who zoomed in! We saw many familiar faces and quite a few new ones. The Board talked to some of the new attendees later and they were very enthusiastic, gave us good feedback and said they plan to come back again. We hope to see many of you on December 19th, our Winter Solstice Zoom. Watch for registration information in the newsletter.
In 1995 my husband died, making me a widow for the second time. I was left alone to wonder about my future life. Questions came but I had no answers. I meant Ruth Gardner [The Crone Mother of Arizona] and she introduced me to the Crones. Like most of us in Ruth’s fledgling group I had no idea what Crone really meant, so I began to search and found that the word had many meanings: Hag, Witch and Sage, among them. But I sensed there had to be a deeper meaning.
During my first meeting, I learned a lot about myself, especially about wandering around aimlessly with no purpose. I looked around the room and found other women like myself who needed to find out who they were what the next chapter of their lives would be. I never missed a meeting after that. I was a sponge absorbing it all and feeling what I was learning in my very core. I knew I was crone. October 13, 1997, at 7:45 p.m. I had a Croning Ceremony and “officially” became a CRONE.
What Crone means to me is that I am an elder with wisdom and courage and power to help other women who need to find themselves—to feel whole again. As a Crone I feel I am never alone; all I have to do is reach out and another Crone sister is waiting.
Janet has four daughters, four grandchildren and two great-grandbabies and lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Janet Oakes Jackson FeatherStrike
A Cross-Genre Collection of Short Stories, Essays, Poems, and Songs by Female Elder Storytellers
Lake Alfred, Florida, USA – In this ground-breaking collection, 57 women from a broad demographic and geographic section of Crones ages 52 and older offer more than 80 intimate stories, essays, poems, and songs about their life-defining experiences, events, or awakenings that have helped inform and shape them into the female elders they are today.
Ordering: Print and digital versions of the book may be ordered directly from the publisher at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Crone-Chronicles-20-20. Cost for print books: $19.99 plus USPS postage; $7.99 for an eBook. Contact Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, suggestions, or release parties.
First release parties will start on the East Coast: Marietta/Atlanta, GA 18 Sept; Gainesville, FL 27 Sept; Lakeland, FL 2 Oct. Stay tuned for news of more readings to follow across the USA.
2020 THIRD ACTion Film Festival (Oct. 23-25, 2020). This on-line film festival celebrates aging with the goal of an age-positive culture shift. 26 films in a variety of formats. For information and tickets, visit: http://thirdactionfilmfest.ca/
What’s in my Heart Today
What’s in my heart, Now
How can I express it, How
Center is light aglow
Fear, afraid of the future winds blow
Dark clouds creep near
I fight to listen and hear
Sweetness, love, excitement
Adventures and stories abound
Come on everyone, gather around
Darkness goes away
A tiny light will illuminate
What’s in my heart today
By Camille Richardson Lipe