Crones Counsel News, October 2022

“Betwixt and Between”
By Ruth Cohen, Member-at-Large, Mother Board

Autumn, for me, is Liminal Space. It is the time between “what was” and “what’s next.” Autumn is a time of Transition.

Although Summer lingers here in the Pacific Northwest, the changing of the light, and the shortening of the days, herald that the dark of the year will soon be here.

“One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Whether it’s guilt, anger, love, loss, or betrayal, change is never easy. We fight to hold on and we fight to let go.” (Mareez Reyes).

Each day we have the opportunity to open our hearts, eyes and ears to find wonder and beauty. Each day we can make the choice to leave something behind. Perhaps leave behind an old way of being that no longer serves us. Perhaps leave behind judgments that we hold about other people. Perhaps leave behind memories that are bitter and hurt our hearts and our spirit.

Autumn is the time of year when plants begin to go dormant. The squirrels are burying nuts and seeds to see them through the winter. Birds migrate. Some animals consume mass amounts of food to get them through the period of hibernation.

Autumn is the time of transition. We can use this time of “betwixt and between” to let go of what no longer has meaning to us. We can store up the goodness of people around us, stack up the books to read in the dark of winter and enjoy this harvest time. We can use this “liminal” time to prepare ourselves for whatever happens next.

Ways to reduce your plastic use
By Laurie Dameron

The vast—and ever growing—volume of plastic use worldwide is a dire problem. Most of the plastic being used is not recyclable, and ends up clogging our landfills, littering our beaches and landscapes, and killing over 100,000 sea mammals and over a million birds every year. Reducing plastic use will also help your health and the health of our planet, since plastic is made from petroleum and many toxic chemicals.

There are many ways you can cut back on plastic use. For example, I’m almost done using the last of my laundry detergent, which is in a large plastic bottle, and will be switching to liquid-less Earth Breeze Laundry Detergent Eco-Sheets (see photo). One package contains 60 sheets for 60 loads of laundry. Considering that millions of people in the USA do laundry, making this change could save a lot of plastic!

Here are some other ideas to reduce your plastic use:

  • Buy products in the largest plastic bottle possible and then use it to refill into a smaller bottle that you reuse over and over–for example dishwashing detergent and Windex. (Some folks use one part white vinegar to eight or ten parts water to make their own window cleaner instead.)
  • Keep reusable bags in your car, not only for groceries but for all your other shopping as well.

Enjoy a beautiful and colorful autumn!


Crone Writing
People don’t like to talk about it…
By Patricia Layden

People don’t like to talk about it…
People don’t like to talk about it, this getting older,
This getting old.
Inside I am still me, only more mature, and I don’t just mean physically.
I belong to a Crone group;
There was a heated discussion about using the term, what with traditional imagery around it at all,
But in an earlier tradition it was a term of honor:
The elder,
The wisdom keeper,
The storyteller.
People don’t like to believe in aging:
“Oh, you don’t look that old!”,
But I am, so I do.
Age is a gift, and I don’t mean just because of the alternative.
If we have at all sought our own souls,
If we have at all paid attention to our choices,
If we have at all suffered and risen – so many ways, so many times –
We have gained wisdom, and stories, and ways to pass it on that aren’t intrusive– or too boring.
Also, and don’t take this lightly,
We may be at an age to lay down some of life’s burdens;
In fact we better, just for our physical and mental health.
The young have so much more stamina for doing it all.
We have the energy of prayer, and of Being.

About Patricia: I’ve been a Crone for decade, and an “Honored Elder” for just three years. I’m married, with three sons in their 50s(!), and am working on a memoir for my kids, telling stories around the objects in the house we’ve owned for  54 years. I’ve recently started an online practice called Wild Writing, which is where this piece comes from.

Dear Elsie

Dear Crones, outside my window on Pixler Hill, the October Hunter’s Moon continues to shine brightly in her phase of new beginnings and intentions. The sky is dark with birds in migration and some of us are looking for and extra blanket or a favorite ‘in between’ sweater as the nights grow cool. Speaking of looking for things…

Dear Elsie,

Some days, I spend half of my time looking for ‘lost’ things… sometimes it’s something I just had in my hands five minutes ago!! Any advice?

Maybe I’m losing my mind?

Dear losing my mind,

I’m pretty sure that your mind is still safely residing inside your skull. Now, depending on it to remember all the trivial information floating around in there is another thing.

There’s a plethora of advice on the internet, in books, from all sorts of professionals on how to sharpen your wits, and they are useful, but there are a few other things you can try.

First, look in the other hand! That has happened to Elsie. Look in a room where the object isn’t supposed to be. Coffee cup on the garage floor, phone in the trash can, that sort of thing. In the refrigerator for literally anything that doesn’t belong there!

Simply clearing your mind for a moment and walking aimlessly around may lead you right to it. Looking again in the logical spot you thought you had already searched often causes the errant item to magically appear.

Unless it’s something important like your house keys, or your driver’s license when the cop pulls you over, try not to worry overmuch. Society tries to convince us that forgetfulness when we age is inevitable, and perhaps it is, but it’s not always disastrous.

In the 1980’s a younger friend and I worked and played together. She ‘lost’ her purse constantly. In a store, at her desk, driving the car, taking a walk. She accepted good-natured teasing with “that’s just the way I am”. She didn’t get the chance to grow old, but I can’t help but wonder how she would have answered your question.

I think she would laugh and tell you to lighten up, whatever it is will turn up sooner or later and if it doesn’t you didn’t need it anyway.


Honored Elders for December 17, 2022 Zoom Gathering

For Those Born In 1942
You Will Be Especially Honored
At Our Virtual Gathering
December 17th.
Be Sure to Register Early
So That We Can Prepare You
As A New Elder for That Time.