Hold on to your inner maiden when you become a midlife crone

Girl with garland
Spring Maiden
Watercolor on Arches #140 hot press

Spring is officially here.  Freshly laden with promise, sex, and the promise of sex; the season of flowers and babies has sproinged to life in the Northern Hemisphere. The maiden, full and fertile, drives mythology of the vernal equinox.

Spring is so closely identified with the maiden that we still tell the ancient myths about her: Stories of beautiful Persephone, emerging each spring from her winter home in Hades to touch the landscape with life; Myths of Ēostra, dawn goddess of ancient Britain, who so tickled St. Bede’s fancy that he attributed Easter festivals to remnants of her ancient cult. And songs of huntress Artemis, notching arrows to her bow, echo across the centuries to create Katniss Everdeen and her fight against the evil capitol of Panem.

We love the myth of the springtime maiden. Perhaps because we are in love with youth. But one of the unavoidable truths of life is that, unless death preempts it,  we are all going to age.

The crone often represents aging, the waning of the moon. Winter. She occupies a cold place in our cultural mythologies. We scare children (and adults) with stories of crones feeding princesses with poison apples, Baba Yaga beating the air with her pestle, fashion-forward heiresses making coats from puppies.

This is wrong. We need new stories. Tales that recognize the duality of spring and winter, and the worth of both ends of our lives.

Woman with dog
Spring Crone
Watercolor on Arches #140 hot press

If Persephone celebrated Holi, and brought color to your cold, snowy town

Painting Spring
Painting spring
Watercolor on #140 Arches hot press

This weekend I was thinking of the Hindu celebration of Holi (See some wonderful photos of the holiday here), then I started thinking about all my dear ones buried under who-knows-how-many feet of snow and ice. Then I started thinking about Persephone and the myth of spring, and although I don’t subscribe to child marriages, the image of her as a little girl popped out of my brush.

Happy Spring everyone. It’s coming soon to a town near you.

Spring wishes

We spent the spring equinox eve at Hidden Villa, a little working farm that’s also a little park where kids can learn about animals and farming. The calf was already mowing through the fresh spring grass.

And three little lambs skittered and played while mama stood sheepishly nearby.

Piglets woofled on the floor of their pen, happily snuffling up something that piglets find delicious.

And a fine rooster chased tail in the hen yard.

Ameraucana chick

Happy spring!