We arrived home to our five children, flowering garden, unopened mail, dishes in the sink, dirty clothes on the floor, etc. etc. with an overwhelming mix of emotions reflecting the chaos around us. Our life. It is at once beautiful, uplifting, oppressive and stressful. It is good to be home.
I was summoned mid day to the kitchen, expecting to have to mediate a sibling dispute and to my utter joy and amazement, the family was there with our dear friend Eyal (who celebrated his 18th birthday today!) and who had strung 1000 colorful origami paper cranes around the kitchen. It was a beautiful site indeed. For those of you who do not know the story behind the 1000 origami cranes, it is rooted in an ancient Japanese legend that promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. In Japan, the crane is one of the mystical or holy creatures and is said to live for a thousand years—that is why 1000 cranes are made, one for each year. The cranes are also a symbol of peace. They decorate several temples around Hiroshima and the story that originally popularized them was that of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was two years old when she was exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and developed leukemia at age 12. While in the hospital, she began making origami cranes with the intention of making 1000. She subsequently died but her statue stands at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial symbolizing her wish for peace.
Eyal and his friend Alex began making the cranes when I left for my ride in early March and managed to finish 1000 in time for my homecoming. It was an touching and emotional gesture as his wish is not only for my health but for the health of all lung cancer patients. The cranes will remain in my kitchen as a reminder of the love, hope and peace they represent.
There are many sites that offer instructions on how to make your own paper cranes for those who would like to try or perhaps just keep the children busy on a lovely project. For example, see: https://www.savingcranes.org/education/origami-cranes/
With love and gratitude,