Sunday, November 14, 2021

We Are Witches, We Are Women

The beach was just incredibly beautiful yesterday. That picture is actually from the day before but you get the idea. Mary, Terry, and I actually baptized ourselves in the water. I pronounced the experience to be "exquisite." And it was. 
We ended up spending all day long on the beach, sitting under umbrellas, talking, talking, talking. Vicky brought a book she'd had put together of photos, some of her family, some with all of us in it. Some of the pictures brought back immediate recollection- nursing school graduation, specific parties, but this one sparked no memory at all. 

I was obviously never that young and gorgeous. I wouldn't even have recognized me if I didn't still own some of that jewelry. Obviously not the cross and why I was wearing it is a complete mystery as is the reason that Mr. Moon was doing an Elvis impression. Isn't Vicky beautiful? She told us a story about the guy beside her which I will not repeat here to protect the guilty. 
The whole weekend was a bit like that. 
"Do you remember?" 
"Oh god. Oh god, oh god. Fuck yes."
There was more cursing and blatantly crude and foul language than I have heard or used since...last we met? 
It was wonderful. Oh my god. We so deserved the title of the bad girls. We still do. In our own good ways. 
But it truly wasn't all about the memories. It was about things we've learned, experienced, feared, loved, gone through in the last million years. We shared everything. Or at least, just about. It's like when you know someone to their core and they know you to your core, there is no real reason to try and hide anything, to paint or taint our stories to make ourselves feel better. And our ability to do this, our comfort in doing this, was immediate although of course, as the weekend progressed, we were able to go deeper and deeper into all of it. 
Terry and I are both very introspective. We probably delve into things more than we should. But that is how we are. Vicky and Mary are more do-ers. They are both incredibly active and hard-working. They have accomplished things in this world that are amazing. Terry and I have too, but different sorts of things. Hard to explain and I won't really bother to try but let's just say that when presented with difficulties, Terry and I tend to ponder and over-ponder while the other two ladies just increase the speed in their activities. 
And in this way and every other, none of us changed at all in the last almost-forty years. This fact alone made us laugh so much. We are who we are and shall ever be so, I guess. 

It's not easy to talk about all of this. But it made me think (ponder?) about the powerful almost-magic that is created when women who know each other in this way come together. Not in any woo-woo sense of the word but just a pragmatic reality of what happens. I can understand how the concept of witches and covens came to be. When women (oh god, I hate to use this phrase) speak their truth, their real heart truth, there is nothing more powerful on this earth. 
And that is how it was. 

After the beach yesterday, the girls wanted to go into Apalachicola to eat dinner and although I begged and pleaded for us to just stay in and watch the sunset, they overruled me and so over the bridges we went. We started at the Oyster City Brewery where there was music going on and a party in the street. Since I almost never, ever, ever go out, the stimulation of it all was a lot for me. A LOT. And then we walked to another bar, one that I have been to before. My ex used to play there and Lon and Lis have played there too. They've opened the place up so that it is larger and there were so many people there and loud music and it was just overwhelming but I did not die. 

That picture does not do justice to the true number of people who were there. 

Then we walked back down the road to the Owl restaurant and the temperature was dropping and everyone was freezing. But the Owl was warm and welcoming and we had the most delicious suppers. Our water pourer was a gorgeous girl from Ecuador and we were not satisfied until we had her story. Terry's son-in-law is from Peru and she asked most of the questions. The darling girl was happy, I think, to be asked to speak about herself. She's only been in the US for six months, didn't know a bit of English when she got here, and she's fluent already. We were blown away by her spirit, her dimples, her obvious joy in life. 
And then we drove back across the bridges and the Rolling Stones played us Honky Tonk Women and when we got back to the condo we sat and talked some more until we all absolutely had to go lay our bodies down. 

This morning was hard. There was crying. I said, "But we haven't said all the words!" There were tears. I didn't want to let them go. But of course, we all have these lives that now we know so much more about. 
I stopped at the Mexican and ate a solo breakfast with a New Yorker for company. 

I just did not want to rush home. As much as I love and cherish my home, my husband, my life, my routine, I did not want the magical journey to end. I drove slowly, I went down side roads that looked interesting. I stopped at a place in Panacea that I've always wanted to see but have never taken the time. 

Today, on my own, I did. There is a history to the springs. You can read a very brief description of it here.  
This is what the hotel that was once there looked like around 1929. 

Today, it looks more like this. 

If yesterday was a beautiful day, then today was only more so. I walked around in the sweet cool peacefulness. I was almost tempted to take the waters, as they used to say, but did not. The smell of sulfur was not overpowering but it was there. The scent of the water I grew up on. 

I drove on down the road towards home and took the tiny detour to the Wacissa where I walked out to the platform where the kids jump in the summer, lined up and rowdy, showing off like peacocks to the opposite sex. 

A woman walking a little doggo joined me and initiated a conversation and within three minutes we had sort of bonded, the way women can. Not in the deep, forever way that I am bonded with Terry and Vicky but still, sweetly. It was as if the woman-magic was still upon me and she could sense that. 

And now I'm home. I've washed the sheets and made up the bed anew because of course Mr. Moon did not think to do so on Friday. I've unpacked. I've been out to the garden and the hen house. I've picked a few salad greens and some beautiful roses. 

I think my husband is glad I'm home. I think Maurice is too. I haven't seen Jack, come to think of it. I'm sure he's here somewhere. 

I wish I had more pictures of the four of us women. Vicky, of course, took pictures. That has always been one of her roles- the documentarian. 
I wish I had more time with them. I am so grateful I had the time I did. 
Before we left today I told Terry that in all of the anxiety I had about the weekend, never once did the thought that she and I would not connect exactly the same as we always have cross my mind. 
I cried. 
"I know," she said. "Me either."


As much anxiety as I had about the whole trip, I would not have traded the experience for anything in this world. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. What a lovely ... love-filled ... post! So glad you got to do this after so many years! What a blessing!

  2. not surprised to hear you all had a wonderful reunion of the hearts......not surprised at all. True love always reigns supreme. Brought me tears to read your post- so happy for all of you. And glad you are home to another love...... sigh
    Susan M

    1. It was a reunion of the hearts for sure. And true love is there in abundance. I am so damn lucky.

  3. What an amazing experience. And an amazing narrative. Thank you.

  4. You had a wonderful time with your fellow women/witches. I think women do have the ability to have deeper relationships than most men and I'm thankful for that. Makes me wonder why we're not all lesbians:)

    1. Well, I have an answer to your last sentence that came up over the weekend but as with so many things we said- I really should not repeat it here. (It has to do with the fact that we like the fellas.)

  5. What a wonderful story. I too met up with old school friends this year and have reflected a lot on my forty something years of adulthood - of course, it is filtered with nostalgia and at times regret, but you know, overall I would not trade it for a different chance at life. My memories are full and rich and that some of those times cannot come again makes me treasure them all the more.

    1. Exactly. Sounds very much like how our weekend went. And I know we all treasure each other.

  6. Women do have power and it gets stronger as we age. And when we form groups it intensifies. This is probably the root of the patriarchy and misogyny. Fear, fear of our power. And also, we are who we are when we are born, we just become more so as we age. I'm so glad you had this time with your tribe. And I do get the reluctance to re-enter. I felt that way after every trip on a river.

    1. I agree. I think that men do fear women when they are strong in groups. And you know what? They should be.
      Re-entering has been fucking hard, Ellen.

  7. You have many new memories to add to your pile of memories with these friends! Glad you had a great time!

  8. It sounds like a fantastic weekend. And I know it's too early to make the energy of this visit into something about tomorrow or the future -- but maybe you should all consider doing this regularly? Every couple of years or five years or so?

    I think Panacea Hot Springs looks better now than when it had that big ol' hotel there.

    1. I hope we do too, Steve. I think that the odds are good that we will.
      I bet the springs were in better shape when the hotel was there. But it is incredibly beautiful in the state it's in, too.


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