It was the Saturday night fire at Heartland, wood stacked high and burning brightly in the circle like a beacon to the Gods. The young danced around the fire in the dance of sexuality and excitement. Mothers and grandmothers shared the dance with little ones, showing them the joy of being free. But, it was she who caught my attention and held me captivated.
She was lithe, almost too thin, her rib cage showing in a way that marked a life of very thoughtful care. Her small bare breast lay almost flat against her hard chest. She danced, thin arms raised and twining, body swaying rhythmically to the pounding heartbeat of the drums. She moved gracefully around the fire, the wind and the heat blowing and twirling through her long salt and pepper hair. And I was mesmerized by her.
As she glided around the fire, I instantly was filled with the feeling of Deity, of being witness to the Goddess moving before me. Not just the Goddess, my Goddess, the Crone incarnate, showing me age with grace in a way that I had never seen before in my lifetime. The Crone held me captive for quite some time as she made her way around the fire over and over, seeming to notice nothing but the fire as if she were moving in a space all her own. There was something beyond a peace and serenity about her. The glow upon her was not just the fire she danced around but the fire that burned within her.
As I watched her, witnessing the extraordinary divinity and grace of this Elder before me, I found something within myself. I found a renewed connection with spirit, and with the Goddess within me. I finally understood the Grace and Beauty of coming into the Crone phase of being, of moving in my own space, taking the beat that is given and not conforming but finding a way to incorporate that rhythm to who I am and how I choose to exist as I move around the Cosmic Fire of Life.
I still carry that peace with me, gifted to me by someone I do not know. I should have thanked her, and that is my only regret. But, I did not want to stir the stillness and serenity of her moment. I will carry her within me for the rest of my life, that image of the beauty and grace of the Crone, a gift that I hope to one day pass on to another.