Crones Counsel XXVI, Bellingham, Washington

Crones Counsel XXVI
September 26-30, 2018
Four Points Sheraton
Bellingham, WA
“SuperCrones, SuperPowers, SuperLives: We Persist”

First Timer Surprises or Maybe, Reflections
By Mary Jensen

What a surprise: For reasons I still can’t explain, my name tag being the correct color matters to me. “My decade” has become an important framework for my story.

At first glance it appears everyone is dressed in flowing colorful skirts, tops, dresses, or shawls. Except me. I’ve come from the airport, and look as if I’m on my way to a hike. Sad old memories flood my mind. I begin to wonder if I belong here. Clearly folks are connecting with friends, and so just glance at me. I recognize no one, and I live here. I’m a stranger wearing hiking clothes. Does she belong here? I wonder, too. And so begins my first Crones Counsel gathering.

I was croned by my mother five years ago. I wear my crone charm, cherish crone feelings, and hold my crone wisdom ground. Differently than the competent independent feminist I was born. Somehow, differently. After the official opening — intellectual, competent, well-known women of history — I begin to feel as if I might belong here after all. Even so, when we adjourn, I’m grateful to go home to my own bed, my own peace and quiet.

The next morning I’m sure Inside this issue: Growing Up Too. (1) Just When I Thought I Was Done (2) Darkness (3) Wising-Up (4) The View (5) Crones Counsel Contacts (6) Crones Counsel XXVII (7) Moving Along into 2019 (8) Crones Counsel XXVI Photos (9) Honoring Laurie Dameron (10) Crones Counsel 2020— Tucson stored my eagerness to return to these strangers.

I’ve been assigned to a wisdom circle. Hmmm, I wonder. But first, we have story telling in five-minute segments. I’m skeptical the time keeper will be able to do the job she’s accepted. She not only succeeds, but does so with firm grace and gravitas! I know I’ll like her if I get to meet her. At my assigned wisdom circle, some of the women look and act a bit like me, and I relax into the possibilities. Our facilitator is skilled at managing us, each sorting out our lives, in spite of (or because of?) our crone age and wisdom. Oh, how human we truly are. I look forward to seeing these women again in this circle.

Before dinner, I again leave and go to my longstanding community commitment to 110 other people. The next morning I’m again surprised, as I enthusiastically return to the crones, now not all strangers. During the day I must leave twice due to my crone work, but return each time to attend yet another interesting session, talk with our artisans, and chat with women in the halls who now look familiar. That day extends many hours. I miss the dancing. But I’m peaceful and content knowing I’ve connected and played and thought with other crones today, and I’ve done my crone work, as well. And there’s still another day and a half to go! How glorious, how luxurious.

Yet another surprise awaits. When the registration opens for Tucson, I sign up! In spite of the very real fact that I’m heat intolerant and have specific dietary needs, I am going to Tucson. And somehow, I know it will be so wonderful I invite my best friend of 50 years, who’s now living on the opposite coast, to join me. Surprise and delight, she too is coming! In Tucson we will do our crone work of connecting, playing, and thinking, and we’ll join the dancing and the drumming, too! Oh yes, Tucson, September 2019.