“I am not old… I am rare. I am the standing ovation at the end of a play. I am the retrospective of my life as art. I am the hours connected like dots into good sense. I am the fullness of existing. You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found. I am a treasure. I am a map. And these wrinkles are imprints of my journey. Ask me anything.”
~ Samantha Reynolds
I am acutely cognizant of the great blessing it is for me to have my mother alive and well and a part of my life forty-four years after my birth. I got lucky in the lottery of motherhood and could not have custom designed a better mother for me. Reading this, she would stammer a little and maybe feel a bit embarrassed by my words because that is who she is. She is a lover of life and most of all family and so the way she is, is as natural to her as breathing. Being an extraordinary caregiver, a gentle soul, a loving mother, wife and friend, is just who she is and she would think nothing of it. My mother is a content woman who delights in so many of life’s simple pleasures that you might assume she missed out on childhood and is only getting to experience it for the first time now. Each year, we have “the BEST Christmas tree ever” and she is never bored with the bursting buds in springtime, the magnificent foliage in autumn and the first snowfall is magical every. single. year.
I do know that there is a part of her that dreads getting old and another part of her that plans to fight like a demon when death comes to pay a visit. She will certainly not be “going gently into that good night” and she will most definitely “rage against the dying of the light.” Even to speak of it brings her to tears and seems to cut off oxygen interrupting her ability to speak. If she could live forever, she would. No doubt about it.
And so, last year, after she turned 69, my siblings and I began to plan her 70th birthday. With my dad’s input and much thought, we knew that she would be happier with a small family dinner rather than a huge surprise party. We know our mother and as much as we wanted to go big with celebration, we knew that we needed to do what would be most meaningful to her. A part of her celebration weekend included a Crone Ceremony. The intention was to set aside some space, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, to pause and acknowledge this milestone year. Although I think my mother was born with an old soul, it was important to shine light on the seventy years she has lived and to honour the wisdom gained.
As a Life-Cycle Celebrant, I am so privileged to help individuals, couples and families transition through life’s moments, big and small, through ceremony and so creating and writing my first Crone Ceremony was both exciting and challenging. It didn’t take long for the ideas to flow and come together and with the approval of my siblings, this “Honouring The Crone” Ceremony came to life.
After a family dinner on the Friday night complete with artwork by her grandchildren and bbq and cake, we continued the celebrations into Saturday with a surprise three hour afternoon trip to the spa. As she was pampered, we (her children) got busy preparing the house for a special Crone Ceremony and a gourmet dinner to follow. Due to the nature of this type of gathering, the number of guests were kept to a minimum and mom chose a handful of friends to surround her. We anxiously waited for this part of the birthday weekend to unfold so that we could finally share with her everything we had been planning for months before.
**Stay tuned for Part 2 which will include a description of the ceremony**