We celebrate our ancestors during October and welcome the Crone into our lives in her many disguises. I keep thinking about the old women who have returned to Chernobyl. They returned because it was their home and they hated the refugee camp. They hunt boar, grow vegetables and drink vodka. When someone asks them if they are afraid, they want to know of what! They are all in their late eighties and nineties, no longer afraid of anything.
As a child, my memory is of old women saying their rosaries after early morning masses kneeling before Mary. They all wore dark colored clothes with ace bandages at their knees and/or ankles. It was the scarves and veils that mesmerized me. My grandmother called them the " babushkas ". Occasionally, they would give me a nod or beckon with a finger to join them. In soft spoken words that still held serious tones, each would talk about their day, their families and their past. It was at their side that I learned what numbers cut and etched permanently into an arm meant. I also learned the ways of survival, for many had lost all family to wars and diseases. Most important I learned the ways of old women being and living with each other. I still see their faces before me.
A blessing to all the " babushkas " I have known and will hopefully, one day become!!!
"In her positive aspect she is often depicted as a Grandmother, a wise woman, or a midwife. The word Crone is derived from the old word for crown, suggesting the wisdom that emanates from the head like a halo. Her own child baring days are past; she is the wisdom keeper, seer and healer and midwife, whose knowledge is sought out to guide others during life's hardships and transitions."