Old Wives Tales:
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”
"Sleeping for two hours before midnight is just as good as four after”
”Red skies at night, sailors delight, red skies in the morning sailors take warning”
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Old Wives.
I really dislike the expression “that’s just an Old Wives’ tale” because it's often said in a derogatory tone. This Mother’s Day I like to acknowledge and thank all the old wives for their hard work and dedication. Let’s stop devaluing the work of women!
The Old Wives are the ones who birthed us, raised us, fed us and made sure we survived. They took care of human society. When their time as mothers ended, they continued as communal grandmothers (amongst the other jobs and tasks they were performing). The Old Wives observed patterns with the intention of trying to keep the tribe alive. They were our first observers – our first scientists, midwives, doctors and healers.
Were all their observations correct? No.
But many were. We just have just incorporated the things they got right into the general knowledge of things that sustain us and keep us alive. We never give them credit for that!
I am not saying that we should take everything they said as truth. No, we should apply the scientific method to figure out what is causation, correlation, or just incorrect observation.
I just think we should acknowledge the work of those women who did and continue to do, their part to keep families and communities alive. We should have gratitude for their efforts and positive intentions, despite not having a well funded research team to provide the
evidence upon which to base to their decisions. Their work was, and still is hard, unpaid, and as such, not valued.
The world today is changing so quickly that we are losing the basic habits that kept us well. It is time we reflect on the old ways and all the things that kept us healthy, and give value to them.
So thank you to all the Old Wives this Mother’s Day! Thank you for your centuries of love, caring and sustenance. Thank you to those Raging Grannies who have use their voice to bring light to issues of care and equity. We respect you and may we carry your knowledge forward!
By the way, some of those old tales have been studied – here’s a link: