Kissed by a Crone

I was kissed by a Crone in the River today!

I had gone to the River to see if Worms were out after yesterday’s Storm, and found no evidence of their presence. (More investigation will be needed to understand their habits.)

I was stepping out of the Muddy Riverbed…and there she was in her shorts, blue swimsuit and wide-brimmed sun hat, looking sturdy and close to Earth in her stance. Were her hands on her hips, too?

Our short encounter was strikingly affirming of A Crone’s Way. I mean no offense in calling someone a Crone. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with Crone and with understanding what it means to be an elder in this crazy American life. I have no idea if she’s older or wiser than me but, for sure, it was a meeting of allies.

I giggled at the memory of our first encounter, and reminded her of how we first met last summer while floating in a River pool. I have yet to run into another adult enjoying the pleasure of our River in this way, listening to the delicate trickle of Water falling over Rock, undisturbed by the mystery of what also moves in these Waters. We find calm buoyancy in the midst of the bustle of our city. I could tell she enjoyed our shared memory, too.

We agreed this summer was not a good one for River immersion. Drought has put a stop to regular releases upstream that provide at least some semblance of the Water being alive with fluidness. Now after big Storms, Water will collect in spots as muddy Puddles and stagnate—Mosquitos hatcheries. We exchanged subtle pauses and sighs between us as a way of acknowledging what a long, difficult summer it has been in this heat.

She mentioned preparing for a concert—“playing my silver flute”—and our conversation then focused on how much time is needed to make ready for a performance. I said, “I only seem to perform once every few years; that’s how much energy it takes me.” She responded, “Well, we must prepare our vessel to widen for all that energy to come through.” She said it took her a week to recover from the last rehearsal. It reminded me of how I got a migraine after my Baba Yaga performance last winter and how it took months for my system to stabilize.

I told her, “My life is so low energy.”

She interjected, “Slow.”

“Yes. It’s like I have to practice raising my energy before I perform.”

When it was time for us to part she invited me to her concert. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to remember the details, she pulled out her cell phone to send me a text invite.

In parting, she offered a kind of prayer or a blessing for this moment we had shared and gratitude for Nature touching each of us with creative inspiration. I stood there enchanted when she pulled me to her for a hug and a gentle wet kiss on my cheek, just the way my Lithuanian grandmother would.

I wish I had recorded what transpired. It’s my hope that someday I, too, may provide others with moments of stepping through a threshold to mystery, magic and meaning, blessed with a kiss.

 Two Crones Resting
from The Crone River Walk, a Rite of Passage ritual performance in the Santa Fe River 2013.
Photo by Danielle Louise Reddick. Performers Ahjo and Sage