I love October. There’s a rush to order PSL and anticipation of yummy pumpkin pie. In the South, “It’s Fall, y’all” signs are everywhere. Overnight, lawns and front porches are dressed with seasonal and spooky decor.
October is just the start of seasonal celebrations, with turkeys and festive trees soon to follow. We’re peppered with reminders for thankful reflection and joyful memory making. And, as much as I enjoy all of it, this year October has me reflecting on my own seasons. This all began with a 60s tune.
A Singular Season
Fans of pop history might know Donovan’s Season of the Witch. It’s a catchy tune with repetitive lyrics and a slightly haunting melody. Unlike better known works from that decade, there’s not a lot of meaning to this particular tune. But. The season of the witch. That simple refrain has been haunting me. What is the season of the witch? Why do older women, those deemed witches, only get a single season? And why is it the season of endings?
Shakespeare paid homage to the seven ages of men in As You Like It. Robert Graves reduced women’s lives to that of maiden, mother and crone. While most scholars fault Graves for sloppy research and dismiss his conclusions, the damage has been done. No matter how you frame it, once motherhood is over, we’re left with terms that are harsh at best. Hag. Witch. Crone! Men become silver foxes, but no one is calling mature women silver vixens. So it should come as no surprise that there’s a movement of women who are reclaiming this stage of life and reimagining the word crone.
Charting New Paths
While I’m not a Baby Boomer, I do spend a fair amount of time thinking about them and how this generation is already impacting senior living. I know that senior women are living more vibrant and active lives than their mothers did at a similar age. While advances in science and medicine are contributing to this, Boomer women have been charting new paths socially since they stepped into the workforce and society as a whole. I think that type of mindset is helping these women continue to forge new paths as they reach their 70s.
Fall has me thinking about the women in my life. I’m in awe of my mom as she navigates the challenges of age for herself and my dad. I see our daughters as young women, capable, talented and on the brink of outgrowing their need for mom’s constant guidance. (What they don’t know is that they’ll always need mom’s advice!) My business will be five years old in January (!) and my confidence as a businesswoman and president continues to grow with each new client. And my support circle continues to hold me in love and friendship as each of us weathers life’s surprises and challenges. Nothing stays the same. I know that and celebrate it. I accept it and dread what might be thrown my way.
The future is never promised to any of us. However, I look forward to what it might bring. I probably won’t let my hair go gray, but I hope my years of experience give me wisdom. Accepting the title of crone might never happen, but I hope hope we continue to value the life experience of senior women. And maybe, just maybe, we agree on a better name for this next season of life. If you have thoughts or ideas, I hope you’ll reach out to me. I’d love to talk you about how we honor and serve all the (senior) women in our lives.