“No one would deny that every season of the year is imbued with its own special beauty and wisdom. The same is true of the seasons of our lives. Perimenopausal women can be likened to the full-blown rose of late summer and fall, as it begins to transform itself into a bright, juicy rose hip-the part of the rose that contains the seeds from which hundreds of other potential roses can grow. Our task is to come to appreciate the beauty and power of the season we are in, instead of longing for what can no longer be.”

-Christiane Northup

The Wisdom of Menopause


I felt a quiet joy rising as I read this years ago…finally a name for the time of life I was entering into and am now deeply involved with at 56 years-of-age. No crones or cougars for me, I am going to be a Rose Hip. I did a bit of searching around the web and was surprised to find that no one seems to have embraced this name or use it any sort of community fashion, but last year I created a category of writings at Wisteria & Sunshine devoted to it and we have heartily embraced the description.

In the past few years, as I accustom myself to life after my mother’s death and struggle with health issues, in addition to all of the changes that are to be expected at my age, I have come face-to-face with the…thorns…the sometimes baffling, difficult, painful, unexpected sort of changes. I am also learning how normal and valuable some of these dark parts can be…or am trying to. I have found the metaphor of the chrysalis, butterfly and metamorphosis very helpful and imagine I will continue to do so for years to come. When it gets overwhelming, messy and confusing, I remember that the caterpillar basically becomes mush within its lovely chrysalis, and yet somehow transforms into the wonder of a butterfly.

As I continue what began with The Bower all those years ago, I plan to share as much as I need and want to about it all-the chrysalis of these years, the caterpillar and the butterfly that are the feelings and experiences and thoughts. And, of course, all of the beauty that continues to be woven through it all.