When the Cranes Come

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When the Cranes Come

I remember who I am –

A woman with wings.

 

When the Cranes Come

I listen with rapt attention

I am a woman with wings.

 

When the Cranes Come

I am pulled into a primordial field

I am a woman with wings.

 

When the Cranes Come

I know I must fly with them

I am a woman with wings.

 

When the Cranes Come

I remember that community is real

I am a woman with wings.

 

When the Cranes Come

I believe hope can be restored

I am a woman with wings.

 

When the Cranes Come

I lay down in frost – covered reeds

At peace with Sand -hill Cranes.

 

Working Notes

 

“By paying attention to what is real and true and authentic we come home to ourselves.” I paraphrase Terry Tempest Williams words although I have used these very same words myself.

 

Paying attention to Nature is just what I do. It is my primary survival tool. My joy is hidden here in experiences of the Now. Paying attention also forces me to witness heartrending Earth broken-ness, and this witnessing leaches the life force out of me. This anguish has no name.

 

When I am pulled into the “field” of Sand hill Cranes I undergo a mystical transformation.

 

There is something about these most ancient birds that live together in peaceful community, who stay together, who migrate in family groups, who look after one another that “call” me to them in a way I can’t comprehend, but feels so familiar… like a dream I can’t quite remember.

 

What I do know is that I must follow them. I must allow myself to believe that there may still be hope.

 

These last years have been impossible because I am witnessing earth destruction daily through the loss of so many animals and plants, polluted air, water and soil. So much slaughter. The earth is going up in flames – Fires rage, destroying the forests that allow us to breathe, and drought cracks open the earth, withering the most resistant trees. Dust chokes desert air.

 

I endure – waiting – no longer believing any action will be enough to stay the human greed, hatred, warmongering, lies, loss of decency, compassion, humility.

 

That is, until I see the Sand hill Cranes flying overhead with their gray gracefully curved wings, their long legs floating behind them – during those precious moments I am filled with inexplicable hope and joy – I once again experience wholeness.

The Cranes have whisked me away…

 

It’s interesting to note that I finished this poem, opened the door and seven Cranes were flying over the house…Sometimes I literally experience myself being being lifted into the air when they are flying above me.