Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sandhill Crane Story

Greetings All-

The earth has a rhythm of her own.  This blue orb we inhabit for such a small moment has been hanging in space for time untold, and will be here long after the most educated, advanced and civilized human has turned to dust.
There is power in these rhythms, both the power to destroy and the power to sustain life.

Handsome Husband and I, along with all of you, were astounded and deeply touched by the re-shaping of Japan by earthquake and tsunami.

Platte River south of Kearney, Nebraska, March 2011

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we were astounded and touched as well by the return of the Sandhill Cranes through central Nebraska.
This ancient rhythm of life has occurred through centuries of time, yet it never ceases to amaze.
HH and I took time out from the routine and spent an afternoon following the Platte River west to the place where half a million cranes will stop for a short time to re-fuel on their way north to Canada and Siberia. 

To witness this ancient ritual and hear their constant strange vocalizing brought calm and assurance that the rhythm of life would go on, and helped put our shallow worries and needs into historic perspective.

As evening rose on the river and cranes began to settle into the shallow waters for safe-keeping, HH and I felt comforted by the strength and unwavering determination of these truly magnificent creatures.

We are reminded that time passes methodically, spasmodically, unfairly or momentously. The earth heaves and adjusts.  Sandhill Cranes and other creatures will migrate thousands of miles north and south, unaware of the moods or accomplishments of their human counterparts. 
I am put in my place and find that comforting somehow.


Hannah said...

Patty--I think your words are perfect for this time, the way in which you draw our attention to that which is cyclical, timeless and inevitable. I remember riding my bicycle many years ago in Nebraska and hearing about these magnificent cranes. Isn't it haunting as well to think about the crane as a symbol of life in Japan? You've reminded us that life does go on.

Patty said...

As well you know from your work in art therapy, Hannah. It's been a humbling week. I'm grateful for you and others whose life work it is to make this an easier planet on which to live.

Liz Crain said...

Oh Patty, I so enjoy your writing and wide-ranging fascinations. This post also leaves me envious! We have a few Sandhill Cranes in the Pacific Flyway, but they're rare. I love them. So much so that I named my house "Sandhill Cottage" and have the license plate frame to prove it.
Of course it's a bit of a pun because of my last name and the fact that our house sits between the beach sand and Hill Street here on the Monterey Bay.
But nevertheless, one of my stops in my See America Roadtrip would be along the Platte River this time of year. Thank you!