Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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Seeking the Source of Winter's Grace

I live in a landscape of liminal spaces. This past Samhain I have been hovering, neither truly in this world nor out of it. Partly this has to do with pondering mortality and how we may live out our last days.  I am not dying (well, not that I know of at any rate), but there are others close who have been taken to that edge physically, mentally and spiritually.  2015 was a challenging and exhausting year, with many highs and some gutting lows for me and those close to me.  I have had to pause, hibernate and dip into the no-words place before I could break surface.

Winter has a stillness that I truly value. I am grateful for the ice that hems us in. I am grateful for the wood that snaps in our log burner and the candle that glows with my many special intentions. I sit and knit little squares that will eventually become a blanket for a refugee or migrant and I am grateful for the meditative space between the click of the needle and the flick of the loop.

My friend is just back from a week's retreat where many of her co-retreatants couldn't shut off their phones for a day, let alone a week.  Emails, texts, streaming form the white noise wall in our lives that separates us from silence. 

Yet, the silence does drop and with it so does the mask - the fury, panic, anxiety - floods in. Then the tide - for silence has its own rhythm -  swills it away.

You don't need a week away really, but January is a special time, just before Brigid invites us back into the land of the living, the reviving earth and sprouting seedling, to sink down into the cold dark and sip it's special brew of silence. Nothing is happening. Everything is happening under the surface.

With Mercury retrograde this January it is not so much a time of unwind as rewind and recalibrate.  Some only have a few minutes or a half hour to take a sip from the source. In the evenings I knit with my background white noise and wish that I could weave the world well with even stitches and a steady rhythm.  I care and my 20cm x 20cm knitted squares are a lamentation in wool.

What is it I seek? Courage. Which that old macho lit lion Hemingway characterised as grace under pressure.  For a world that is so greatly under pressure - individually and collectively - I drop down, in and out of  that silence and seek the grace for courage in 2016.

Knitting is a form of weaving. There is the goddess of correct timing, She who measures out the thread and cuts it, too. I honour Her wisdom.

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Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


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