Several years ago, I was in a women’s spirituality circle with about 10 other women, most of whom were older than me. One of these women was in her mid-80s, and she was a fierce and vibrant woman and feminist. Through many interactions with her and with other womyn in their late-60s and beyond, I came to an even greater appreciation for the power of aging with as much self-determination as possible.

I wrote this poem as I imagined what my life could be like when I am in my 80s. Today is Samhain when the veil between the worlds is thin and ragged, and we are entering the dark time of the year when we are supported in the soul-work to reflect and dive into our deepest questions and our deepest longings. I thought it fitting that I share this poem and invite you to remember not only your former self, but also the many lines of ancestors who have come before you and call you to remember them.

A Crone for All Seasons

In the springtime of her heart, the Crone smiles remembering her childhood and maidenly ways
She gazes with serene joy on the babes (both human and animal)
the buds of tree and flower
and the coltish grace of maidens–those just past their first bleeding time
and those ripening to womonhood

She is patient and kind with the young ones for she holds in her bones
the memories of gamboling through grasses and wild flowers,
of skinned knees and passionate promises,
of wondrous discoveries of ants and stars,
butterflies, waterfalls, buffaloes, and
her own reflection in the mirror

In the heat of summer, the Crone recalls the days of magic and mystery
as her body ripened with child
She sees the young mothers
exhausted and yet satisfied
with babe at breast or knee
and she smiles

The Crone knows the work of generativity
of production both corporeal and conceptual
She knows the sacrifice each womon makes
to ensure her progeny are let out into the world with the best of intentions
backed by dedication to the work

As the days turn cooler in Autumn, the Crone becomes wistful
She recalls the days in her past when she began to slow down,
to turn inward, to discover new depths of wisdom within her heart.

She smiles again as she recalls when she began to be looked to for advice and counsel
when she noticed the lines on her face
the strands of grey in her hair
her lack of desire to give a damn about others’ opinions
She holds the space for those who are coming into their own wisdom and power.

And, in the darkness of winter, the Crone knows that even though she is
slow in some ways, she has an ease and facility with her soul magic
that can only come to those who have learned
to sit in contemplative reflection
to ask the hard questions
and find strength in pain and adversity

As she warms her bones by the fire
the Crone welcomes the ghosts of her ancestors
feels the veil thin
and knows that in time she will return to the cauldron of the Great Goddess from whence she came
And she smiles