As a Crone, I am a believer in old proverbs that I heard many times over the years. I used to think they were silly, but I have come to understand the beauty of their practical wisdom, expressed in a simple way, much like a well-written Country Music lyric.
One of my favorites has been, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, — whether because I love apples, or I thought it easy to understand – I can’t be sure exactly why. The meaning always seemed straight forward enough; children may be forever “tied” to their childhood home, at least emotionally, is the most literal meaning. But, it usually refers to the idea that children inherit both physical and behavioral characteristics from their parents, the latter often referring to a negative connotation (e.g. the son of a drunkard ends up as a drunkard).
But, my increasing-every-day Super Crone Wisdom sees so much more! You see, while I may share some physical characteristics from my ancestors, I am one apple that didn’t fall from the tree, — rather, I flung myself from that old tree! Small Town East Coast to Big City West Coast; Obedient Protestant Daughter to Rebellious Catholic Wife, and then, onto Crazy Wackadoo Pagan Witch.
Apples are always on my mind at this time of year! I have so many great memories involving apples from my childhood in Pennsylvania:
- gallon jugs of freshly-pressed apple cider on the porch
- going to the fort every year during Fort Ligonier Days to see my grandmother and other ladies of the Eastern Star (each dressed in 18th century costume), attend a giant cauldron of applebutter over an open fire
- gallons of freshly made applesauce – smooth as silk!
- warm apple pies,
- and my father’s favorite dessert, Apple Brown Betty (which, my mother claimed, he had never actually eaten!)
It is the apple that triggers my longing to return to the Tree. The apple holds the reflection of my mother’s hands, working with practiced efficiency and her favorite paring knife, peel and quarter an apple for my after-school snack (an “approved snack” that would not “spoil my dinner”). I can smell the freshly baked pie, — tucked safely into my grandmother’s pie basket under her neatly pressed and carefully folded apron, — as she climbed the stairs into our kitchen for Sunday supper.
My applehead spirit dolls epitomize the energies of the Crone Goddess in a very special way. The shriveling face recalls the last stage of life, when the body is at its weakest, BUT the psychic and magickal powers at the strongest. The Crone is the Transformer, breaking down our old forms to make change and rebirth possible. At the center, — at the core — of the shriveled apple, remain the seeds of the rebirth.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. It is still connected, over the miles and beyond the years, by heartstrings – strong enough to bind forever, yet gentle enough to strum the sweetest of songs.
I wish you blessings.