25 November 2009


In October, my husband, John, and I were asked to be the celebrants for a Ceremony Of Love for our niece, Judith, and her partner, Kim. We'd not done such a thing before but our love and support for these wonderful young women prompted us to say "yes".
I'm glad we did.

Like many things, it was after the event that the fuller meaning of it filtered in. The experience itself, the feedback from those there, the talking about it afterwords, the thinking about it has occurred and now I feel ready to write about it.

My goal/obsession lately has been to find how to become a wise woman, a crone, an elder in my community, to find a way to give back for all I've been given. I see it as the purpose of this journey I'm on in this life phase. It's my work of this life phase. It's important to me. I get surprised when I realize not everyone my age is obsessed with this. It's why I'm keeping a blog and trying to link up with other seekers for inspiration and support. It's the reason I make the choices I do in my reading at this point.

It's connected for me to our family's 6th woman's gathering (see Nov 7 post, The Gathering, 2009), which took place in Philadelphia just before the Celebration. It was a time of deep sharing. It marked a turning point in our gatherings and showed that we have become a real working personal growth group and profound support for one another. My daughter, her 8 women cousins and my sister-in-law have gathered every year for 6 years. I admire them for their commitment! I set this gathering up originally as a way to provide a forum for healing for the young women in our family. It has become that. I never really thought about how this would change me. Or how it would change my daughter's or nieces' view of me.

And then a simple thing happened. I was asked to be a celebrant at my niece's Celebration Of Love. I felt it as an honor, a sacred responsibility and a joyous opportunity to serve. But now I think it also means that I am already seen as an elder by the women of this next generation in my family, maybe a budding wise woman/crone, too.

Maybe this is the way things happen. I saw what needed to be done - in this case to heal part of my family - and did it. In the process others noticed and acknowledged it. My self-perception changed when I listened to them and caught up with myself. That's less important, though, than doing what needs doing, being a leader when leadership is needed, finding the way in front of us to serve.


  1. At age 64, I find my obsessions a little different than yours - but then I thought - maybe that's the thing - we all grow an obsession of some sort or other as we get to this age or thereabouts - and it's going to differ for each of us. My obsession has become 'self expression' - through painting, writing and photography. I have found my voice and I am obsessed by it.

    I am only just getting to know you, but already you have changed my personal definition of the word 'crone'.

  2. That picture of the two of them is so beautiful!

  3. Nan, I love that photo, too!
    Lceel, When we find what we love and do it, it saves us. And enriches others.

  4. When we asked you to do officiate at the Ceremony, it was a HUGE deal to us. I've known you my whole life, but felt closer to you since you initiated the Gatherings. Kim barely knew you, but loved parts of you she had already gotten to know. It was an divine inspiration to ask you and your love to officiate - and something that made us so happy. Once we had decided to ask you, we hemmed and hawed about *how* to ask you. And in the end it was easy. We kew that we wanted you to do it, we put it out into the universe, and you picked it up. As the mother of my spirit, it was such an honor and a blessing to have you play that role for us. To be joined together, fasted hand-to-hand, by one with so much love to give, was just exactly right. I learned a phrase in grad school; "always already." I think back to it at times like this and think how right it was to have you and your love celebrate with us in that way. You both are always already a model for sharing love... and that's what you did for us and for everyone there. And that's what you do, always already.

  5. Inspiring, Mary. You are a wise woman. I am also 64, Lou, and my obsession is similar to both yours amd Mary's: part trying to keep the peace in the family, and part finding my own peace through "self-expression." Neither is easy, but that's all part of the journey, isn't it?

    Loved the picture of Judith and Kim. They just glow with love.

  6. Thanks, Judith and thanks, Patti. They do glow!


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