The weekly writing challenge this week on the WordPress site is to write about a character that haunts you. I’m not sure I would classify this character as one that is haunting me, but I will say that she surfaces in my imagination from time to time and she represents a possibility of my future self twenty five years from now.
Another stellar day. The old lady stretches out her back from picking strawberries in her garden and looks out over the lake. The rowboat and canoe are still laying upside down on the wharf where they were left from last weekends family get-together. “I’ll have to get someone to bring them up to the shed next time they come”, she mentally reminds herself.
Cowichan, the warm land, that’s what the local first nations named this area. It’s been hot and dry for almost three weeks now and it looks like there is no end to the sunshine in site. The summer residents and the holiday visitors have doubled the little towns population. The old lady doesn’t mind though, most of them are good clients.
She is a regular resident of the old logging town, most people know her and know what she does. She has been described as a psychic, a witch, a few might even call her crazy but with her short plump body, silver white pinned up hair and warm brown eyes that sparkle behind her glasses, she is more likely to be mistaken for Mrs. Claus than anyone else. She gave up caring what others thought of her years ago.
She prefers the title of Crone. The Crone of Lake Cowichan is what’s on her business cards actually. The old lady feels the moniker has a mystical edge with a hint of bad ass to it. There is still spark in the old gal yet.
Most of the locals think she is a throw back from the hippie era. Growing herbs, doing tarot card readings and who knows what other hocus pocus she may conjure up during the full moon. They have seen her out there dancing in her yard late at night.
But what the locals don’t know is the Crone of Lake Cowichan is the author of several self help books, hosts a blog with over 20,000 subscribers and even at the ripe old age of 75 still does speaking engagements on the topic of wisdom and spirituality at conferences all over North America. That’s her secret, her inside joke, her bad ass side. Her out of town clients must know though, how else could they have found out about her.
When she was fifty she decided to move to Lake Cowichan, but it took ten years to convince her husband to actually do it and two more years after that to find the house and property she now calls home. Her husband and best friend passed away three winters ago at the respectable age of 81. She still misses him desperately and thinks about him daily, sometimes hourly. “The human body doesn’t last forever”, she chides herself, “The love affair had to end sometime”. Still, she hold on to the notion that they will meet again in another life and time.
She bends down again and resumes picking strawberries. They are meant to top off the lemon pound cake that she baked this morning.
A brand new client is coming for a reading today. Since she pared back her appointments to just three readings a week her schedule has become booked solid for months in advance. The universe must want her to meet with this one though because she called minutes after a cancellation desperate for a reading.
“Maybe we will sit out on the veranda and enjoy the breeze coming off the water for our appointment”, she muses out loud.
Even though the old Crone has read for hundreds of people and has many devout regulars, she still feels nervous to read for a new client. It’s that old self-confidence weakness that re-surfaces every now and then, “I hope I can help her.”, “I hope she is not expecting a miracle that I can’t deliver”. In reality, she will help this lady find clarity and it will be enough.
Most of the time all that is needed is just a little common sense to solve a clients problems. That practical perspective is easy for this wise old sage. If they all had common sense, then they wouldn’t need her services.
Her thoughts are interrupted by the sound of tires on gravel coming from the front of her home. There is no sense worrying about it now, her client has arrived. She is the Crone of Lake Cowichan, and it’s time to greet her guest.
To access the Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge post, click here.