Recently I was invited to be a speaker on a Symposium entitled “Elders of the New Earth.”

And at first blush I remember thinking, “Elder? Elder?!? Me, an Elder?!? How is that even possible? Aren’t I only like 26 years old or something?!?”

And then I paused and let that sink in a bit.

What did that mean to me, to be considered an Elder? 

What did that mean for me, to be considered an Elder?

Once I realized there’s no fighting the fact that I am indeed over 50 years of age (though I do not feel that in my Self in any way), and once I realized that the “highlights” someone thought I had gotten in my hair were actually my very own grey hair coming through, well, then I have to admit, it felt kinda…cool to be called an Elder.

And I felt myself warming to the idea.

I started practicing the term as I looked in the mirror. I found myself chanting it as a rhythm as I walked the dog. “El-der El-der” (right foot – left foot). And I felt it settle into my bones.

I kinda dig it.

You see, some moons ago, I had had a slew of conversations with several women in their seventies in a rather short period of time, and it had left me pondering what my own next stretch of road might look like as I crossed into my fifties.

I found other words and feelings to accompany this concept, other ideas to help me to chart my course.

Wise Woman.

Record Keeper.

Compassionate Communicator.

Knower of Things.

Feeler of Feelings.



Mother Tree.

And it called forth writers like Sharon Blackie and Andrea Gibson and Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Suzanne Simard and Amy Wright Glenn and Anita Diamant and so many more…

And it had me begin writing again (in earnest, this time) and take up with more dedication the study of life, and breath, and death.

Heck, it even caused me to seek ordination so that I might perform rituals like weddings and funerals and other important ceremonies for the incredible folks in my community.

In essence, this contemplation has changed me. 

But what’s really intriguing is that never, in any of this contemplation, did I stumble across the word “Elder” and feel like it “fit.”

“What are we doing now,” prompted the visionary of this Symposium at which I had been invited to speak, “to usher in a New World? A New Earth? What would you, as an Elder, say to your children’s children about what matters now?”

Somehow this invitation to give this talk invited me to cross yet another threshold in my journey, to step more boldly into embracing the Truth of Who I (Now) Am.

It appears, Dear Reader, that I am an Elder, a tender, newly-minted one with still so very much to learn, but an Elder none-the-less.

And I really do kinda dig it.

With love to you on your own journey, wherever it is leading you now.

You can find more from Rebecca at Plaid For Women or connect with her on her website.