Bohemian flower-print dressHippie bohemian Wiccan lesbian separatist covens FTW.

Young Sharon Applebaum has a medallion with a bird on it. Yes, it’s a sparrow. She’s already interested in their significance in Jewish mysticism, which, as she’ll explain in chapter 8, led to the name choice for Sparrow-her-daughter.

(Don’t worry, Sparrow’s Unnamed Grandmother, your time is coming.)

Winter Solstice, 1982: Northern California

Woman: The darkest night of the year’s at the threshold. Open now the door, and honor the darkness . . .

Phone: Sharon? It’s your mother, dear. Are you there?

Woman: No, no, go on and answer it. I’m sure the Goddess can wait.

Sharon: Eheh.

Mom, is anything wrong?

Phone: Can’t a mother just want to hear her little girl’s voice?

Sharon: What, now? It’s not your birthday, it’s not one of the high holy days . . . or even the not-so-high sorta-holy days . . .

Phone: Wiccans don’t celebrate those! I did my research, young lady!

Sharon: True, but–

Phone: So you can’t even take time out of your honoring the Goddess on the Solstice to honor the woman who gave you life?

Sharon: Once a Jewish mother, always a Jewish mother.

Phone: And when is that lesbian separatist coven of yours going to give me some grandchildren, hmmm?