February is the month to remind ourselves that just because we might be old enough to join AARP, we don’t need to fade into the woodwork but can get out there and live life to the fullest. Celebrate with me Spunky Old Broads Month. There are many ways to approach this, including the poem called “Warning,” but more often known by its first line: “When I Am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple.” (see the full poem below, below in the quotes) This poem was part of the impetus behind the Red Hat Society, a group for older women to connect and have fun. You can also check out the book entitled Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History, written by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a Harvard professor.
But what I want to feature today is a reclaiming of the term “crone.” It has fallen into disrepute, and if you look up the definition in the dictionary, it will talk about mean spirited old women. Originally, however, crone was merely part of the trilogy which described a woman’s life: maiden, mother, crone. A crone is a woman past childbearing years, who is wise in the ways of the world, and ready to share that wisdom with her younger sisters. As it is put on Crones Council page, “A Crone is a woman concerned with housing, social security, pensions, healthcare, her relationships with children, grandchildren, and siblings. A Crone is a retired woman, a soon-to-be retired woman, a widow, an empty nester who desires good health, energetic living, and independence. A Crone is a woman who is adapting constructively, often gracefully, to the process of aging. A Crone is a woman who is comfortable with her spiritual self, her intuition, and her creative power.”
This sounds like a good way to live!
Quotes about aging
Warning by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age.–Florida Scott-Maxwell
As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it!–Margaret Deland
The hard thing when you get old is to keep your horizons open. The first part of your life everything is in front of you, all your potential and promise. But over the years, you make decisions; you carve yourself into a given shape. Then the challenge is to keep discovering the green growing edge.—-Howard Thurman
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