She speaks inside me, sitting as she always does at her potter’s wheel. The clay spins and her leg moves in a comforting rhythm while her fingers, gnarled and veiny with age, gracefully work a stubborn lump of red clay into something beautiful, useful, and unique. Her voice has all the cadence of a magician’s incantation, the words rolling and filled with diphthongs. In her voice is the hills, the crystal-clear creeks, and a tree-trimmed sky.
She is patient. She works the clay, her nails darkening with the earth. Her leg does not cease its rhythmic movement. “The land is our life,” she says, watery eyes squinting as she molds the clay. “Our life and our future. Never forget her, child.”
I nod, though I do not understand at first – for I am young and foolish, and the crone seated before me is many lifetimes old, and her wisdom is the wisdom of the ages. The hum of the potter’s wheel continues, the image of the white-haired crone fading into the blackness behind my eyes.
I open them. Above me is the heavy gray of a sky promising rain.
‘Water is life.’ I think. ‘Because we are water.‘
‘Air is life.’ I know, breathing deep. ‘Because without it, we perish.‘
‘Fire is life.’ I remember, feeling the heartbeat in my chest. ‘Because our hearts are filled with fire.‘
“The land is our life,” I say, hearing the crone’s voice mix with my voice. “And our future. We must never forget the land.”
Happy Winter Solstice everyone.
(Image belongs to Lane Brown and can be purchased @ https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/lane/crone/ )