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Three Crones


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I made this piece when I was going through a transitional time in my life.  Everything felt difficult and challenging.  I was going through so many changes that I didn’t know who I was anymore.  But then I heard a story about these three old crones, which I will do my best to paraphrase.

“Three old crones lived happily with their tribe on a beautiful island.  One day out of the blue, a neighbouring tribe ambushes them.  They only have time to grab a few things.  As they run with all their might, they see a crying baby girl left behind in the sand.  They snatch the baby up into their arms and jump into a canoe left on shore.  As they paddle along, they sing lullabies to the baby girl to keep her from crying.  Finally they float onto a distant shore and make a life for themselves out of nothing but the land beneath their feet.  As the girl grows older the wise crones are sure to tell her of all their teachings, ceremonies and traditions.  They share a very happy life together.

When the first crone dies they set up a pyre on the beach and watch the fires burn as they sing and dance for her spirit to reach the heavens.  When the second one dies, they do the same.  When the third one dies, it is the girl alone who enacts the ceremony.

As time slips by the young woman becomes terribly lonely.  She feels anger and rage come into her spirit.  She slowly forgets all the traditions and ceremonies that allowed her to live peacefully with nature.  The young woman decides that she will take her own life on the beach.  As she sits in the sand, she feels its energy and begins to cry.  Her tears create streams that flow back into the sea.  Suddenly the ground begins to tremble.  Up through the sand come the spirits of the three crones.  They remind the woman of everything that she had forgotten.  Once again they dance and sing.  The woman’s heart is renewed.”

This story helped me to realize that I, too, had forgotten many things I have learned.  Perhaps some of them just had to be re-vitalized and re-interpreted.