Monday, March 26, 2007

Wings in Motion

For millions of years, the Sandhill crane has passed through the heart of the heart of this country. They fly hundreds of miles in a single day, singing and dancing on their journey home. Their songs signal the change of seasons to us. There is a peace to be found in the changing of these seasons, and comfort to be found in the knowledge that long beyond my walk on this earth, these birds will continue on their journey through this land I call home. Each spring, we make our own migration down that stretch of I 80, in search of the sight and sounds of these magnificent creatures. There we, and some 20,000 others, spend a morning...or afternoon....or evening, off the beaten path, and hopefully not on an irritable farmers private path! There is satisfaction in just the thought that my children and my children's children will one day stand on the edge of the shallow Platte river, shivering in the early morning darkness, camera in hand, waiting for the sight of thousands of wings rising in the lifting fog and the haunting sound of the crane songs. The thought that these birds have made this journey since ancient times is overwhelming and reminds me just how small I really am in this huge world. The Sandhill crane mates for life, and most times can be found with a child or two in tow, just like most of my own life. The history of the Sandhill crane is rich in folklore and legend, symbolizing faithfulness, beauty and longevity to name just a few. Just a few moments of listening to their songs and watching their dances makes even the last die hard shut down the IOPD and roll down the window. Take your own trip down that stretch of I 80 in the middle of Nebraska....take your time and enjoy the moments. (But watch carefully for No Trespassing signs!) The song of the Sandhill crane will live in your soul forever.

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