Welcome to my website

Sherry Anderson

Sherry Ruth Anderson

Welcome. Please come in. Imagine that we’re together, you and I, seated at the edge of a vineyard laden with fruit. If you accept this invitation, you’ll be stepping into ripening time— the theme of this site.

Ripening, as I use it here, means coming to our full flavor as human beings. Ripening time points to this time, now — when there’s more time than ever before in human history to truly grow up, and when the need of our time for real maturity could not be more urgent. If you agree, I invite you to see what you can discover on this site that supports your own explorations.

Here’s the overview: you’ll find reviews of my three books—Ripening Time: Inside Stories for Aging with Grace The Cultural Creatives and The Feminine Face of God. You can also see my short film A Woman’s Descent to the Sacred.

There are ongoing blog posts from my latest peregrinations working with circles of elders in North America and Europe. You’ll also find guidelines for creating elders’ circles and some questions to initiate inquiries alone or with others.

I’ve listed some of the things I find new and inspiring: videos, music and artwork that bear on this ripening time as well as images and photos. And finally you’ll find a page with my upcoming talks and seminars for those who are interested in participating in person or by teleconference. I hope you’ll discover some juicy morsels to nourish your own ripening process. May your harvest be fruitful and benefit many others—every one of us is needed now.

Here’s the back story on this site: For as long as I can remember, 40 years at least, I’ve had a question that wouldn’t go away. It took different shapes but underneath it was always: What does it mean to be a human being? The shapes spun into books about the unfolding of the sacred in women’s lives and about cultural transformation. And then I started to wonder: What about growing old?

Try telling people that you’re really excited about aging. Aging? Excuse me, I’ll be leaving now.

So I started rooting around for a word that could express what I found so intriguing. That’s when I found this interesting word: ripen.

To ripen is to be fully grown and developed, as in ripe fruit and ripe wheat, the dictionary says. And also: having mature knowledge, understanding or judgment. And a third meaning: of advanced years, as in a ripe old age.

And my favorite: (a) brought by aging to full flavor or the best state, mellow; and (b) smelly, stinking, as in ripe cheese. Ripening means all of this, and so does aging — if you actually grow up and not just old.

Since no one knows what reaches and dimensions of our humanity are possible, and since we now have more elders on the planet than ever before in history, I propose that we engage the question of ripening.

How do we allow ourselves to be shaped and transformed by our experience? Allow it to ripen us if it will?

Download  Creating Elders Circles

Download  Questions for Discussion and Reflection

With boundless gratitude to webmaster Alla Gringaus (email: alla.gringaus@gmail.com) who not only designed and built this site but has been the most inspiring of teachers in her meticulous and gracious guidance into the mysteries of the internet. And, also, a special thanks to Heather Preston, whose work on the cover of Ripening Time inspired the artistic theme of my site