I was quite taken aback at that, until she explained that as a Pagan, a Crone was regarded as a wise woman and a respected elder!
Thoughts of being seen as a wisened up old hag soon disappeared to be replaced by thoughts of being a wise goddess!!!
Ok, maybe thats taking it a bit far, but after some reading up on the subject I began to embrace my "cronehood" and have come to feel quite comfortable in my new skin! My Pagan friends even held a small croning ceremony for me to honour my transition.
And why not! There are many female orientated organisations around the world who seek to honour a young girls transition into womanhood and we as women, celebrate the transition of our sisters into Mothers so why do we not honour the third age of womanhood in the same way?
The word "crone" has become a derogatory word and its time to reclaim it and return it to its proper use - as a way of describing a woman who has lived a full and eventful life and has many experiences and words of wisdom to pass down.
I remember as a young child, spending time with my Grandmother, in the kitchen or walking round the garden. She would tell me what flowers and herbs were good for helping sore throats; what to do with the dried flower heads in order to save the seeds for next year! I know now that she was doing what her Grandmother had done, and all the previous Grandmothers before. They were passing on their knowledge to the next generation.
If you look across many cultures, it is women that hold society together. In our modern day fight for equal rights, have we lost sight of the fact that being a woman is a very important part of who we are?
We are responsible for the next generation; it is us they look to for the skills to get them through the early part of their life.
Even if some of us don't have children of our own we still have a role to play. Being an Aunt can be just as rewarding as being a Mum.
So, at 49 I am approaching that milestone that many women dread. But actually, I'm quite looking forward to it! I intend to celebrate my cronehood; be happy in who I am.
Having cancer made me realise that its pointless stressing about things that you can't change; a wise woman would have know that! I had to learn the hard way, but its a lesson that I won't forget in a hurry!
Honour the wise woman within you!