A local Retreat Centre recently hosted a Spring Clean-up Day. In exchange for good food and good company we gathered from our scattered communities to rake, paint, and clean windows. Most of the volunteers were of Crone Vintage, both women and men, and I wondered whether our small contributions would make a visible difference.
When we gathered for lunch there was rich, good natured banter about ladders and missing rakes. The flavour of the conversation was respectful and nourishing. As others started returning to work a younger woman at our table began to share about a conflict she was having at home with her supervisor. It soon became apparent that a painful anger was simmering as her tone became bitter. As she started to apologize for her words a wise woman spoke up gently and assured her that anger was better out than swallowed, as it can turn toxic within.
There were other suggestions, all quite practical, on ways to use her anger to make some necessary changes. There was no doubt in my mind that the generous portions of advice came from personal experience painful in the past, but now a source of resilience having been filtered through the sieve of time.
Were the windows cleaner?
Were the flower beds neater?
More important? - the look of wonder on a young woman's face when she tasted the truth that anger can be a very tasty choice, when properly served.