Long ago I fell in love with the Sandhill Crane while living in Nebraska. The Sandhill Crane is not native to the state of Nebraska, but it is a familiar sight as it pauses along the Platte River on its annual migration north for the Spring. Thousands and thousands of them line Interstate 80 which follows the Platte River. There along the Platte River they fuel up with the corn left in the fields to gain enough strength to journey onward. They are a wondrous sight to behold and were always a sign for me. They marked the arrival of Spring in Nebraska--that and dead skunks, but that is another story. Oh, they were usually a couple of weeks early and we usually had to endure at least one more blizzard, but Spring always came quickly once they arrived. They were a sign of hope for me.
Upon moving to Montana I thought I would probably never see a Sandhill Crane every again as Montana is a little to the west of the migratory route. Thus I was quite surprised when I spotted a crane as I was driving down the road one day. In fact, it was two of them standing in the middle of a field. It was then that I was told that there was a fairly healthy population of Sandhill Cranes in Montana--probably the lazy ones that didn't want to fly all the way to Canada. Whatever the case, I was elated. A world without Sandhill Cranes--especially my world--is kind of sad. I was missing them in my life.
As I was driving to my job in the big city this morning--around 6:00AM--I saw the familiar silhouette of a lone Sandhill Crane flying across the horizon. Such a graceful flight against the rising sun. I wish I could have heard it soulful call as it was flying, but it was too far away. I just had to watch and enjoy as it flew across my line of sight to land in a nearby field. It really made my morning and set the mood for the rest of the day. And, it was a good day.
The song of the Sandhill Crane is a hypnotic cull that echoes across the sky--almost a lonely cry. Each time I hear it it brings joy to my heart, because, as I said, it means hope to me. Hope that the Winter is almost over, Spring in almost here. That there is going to be brighter, warmer day coming. The following is a short clip that allows you the opportunity to see and hear the Sandhill Crane:
May you discover the wonder of the Sandhill Crane, and may it bless you with the hope that it represents. In the days to come I hope I have the opportunity to cross the Sandhill Crane's path again. Nothing starts a day off better than witnessing the flight of a Sandhill Crane across the horizon.
There is always hope!