I was thinking of my mythical community.
"When I'm old, I want to be part of a knitting circle," I announced to my husband. (I don't really knit, but not the point.)
I imagined them, the wise and earthy women in this knitting circle.
Quirky, kind. Strong, sharp. Full of thoughts.
Playful and fond of the absurd, because laughing together is good medicine.
I said, "They'll like reading. And growing herbs...or wildlife habitat. But they're a little dangerous, somehow...like, they're witches."
I looked over at him. He nodded.
(He's heard me dreaming aloud about other hypothetical communities that we could somehow be part of. Maybe a permaculture-green-sustainable community in the Pacific Northwest? A pagan-artist-village community in Devonshire? The oddball, charming fictional communities of Bluebell, Alabama, or Stars Hollow, Connecticut...surely they must be based on real places. Etcetera.)
The next day, musing on the ways of my mind, it struck me—I had been describing the person who I want to be when I grow old.
The ongoing sense of community with other women that I sometimes long for, especially now that my mother and grandmother are gone, my aunties dispersed.
Be a good parent to yourself, a wise woman told me. Be both the daughter and mother.
To that, I'll add...also be the grandmother-crone to yourself.
I'm reminded that as a girl, I had a habit of buying highly impractical clothing for imaginary scenarios.
Floaty, gauzy gown with a long sash and ruffles? Of course. Because I was hopeful that one day very soon, I would be walking in a sunny meadow and come across a princely young man who would promptly fall in love with me and my lovely dress.
"Wear it and he will come."
It didn't seem unlikely, then.
(The meadow never actually happened. Eventually there was indeed a princely young man, but he's never cared for meadows. Or walks.)
I'm poking fun at my younger self, but that imagining came from the same mind that today muses on knitting circles and community. Still trying on possibilities of the person I want to be and the life I want for myself.
When I was a young woman with a head stuffed full of romantic novels, my longings were different than they are now. The knitting circle suits me better these days.
So it appears I have a sketchy map, and a place to get to...but which paths will take me there?
I have to get on with it. I'm already oldish, with no community in sight. Or else I'm overlooking something right under my nose, which is a possibility.
But it all began with the girl that I once was, let's not forget her. I love her once-upon-a-time longing for the mythic that played out in dresses.
And I am glad she lives on as again I try to envision a life that fits who I'm longing to be now.