Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sandhill Crane

Three years ago, during a telephone conversation with my fitness trainer, I was startled by the sound of my son Riley screaming from the backyard; "MOM, COME QUICK!!!  THERE ARE BIG RED BIRDS IN THE SKY!!!"

Still holding the telephone to my ear, I walked outside to hear the garbled croaking of what was easily 300 large birds in synchronized flight overhead. At the time I had no idea what they were, or their significance as an omen.

The following day I asked around about the birds and was told that they were probably sandhill cranes. Trusting that they were indeed a sign of some sort, I asked Mike if they meant anything to him, considering that they appeared during a conversation about his astrology chart. It held no real significance for him at the time and I soon forgot all about them.

Until a few weeks ago, (three years later, almost to the day I first encountered them) while driving in Edmonton's west end I once again noticed hundreds of sandhill cranes high in the sky. 

This time I had the time and resources to look deeper into the significance of this omen and thought I would share it with you.

From Wikipedia:  "This crane frequently gives a loud trumpeting call that suggests a French-style "r" rolled in the throat, and they can be heard from a long distance. Mated pairs of cranes engage in "unison calling." The cranes stand close together, calling in a synchronized and complex duet. The female makes two calls for every single call of the male."

I would link this to the importance of communication and how a few words can go a long way. The male and female calling in unison is also connected to the balance of yin and yang, stillness and action, giving and receiving and the mother and the father. I think the time has come where heart and mind need to constantly connect to make appropriate decisions.

Wikipedia also says:  Sandhill cranes are fairly social birds that are usually encountered in pairs or family groups through the year. During migration and winter, non-related cranes come together to form "survival groups" which forage and roost together. Such groups often congregate at migration and winter sites, sometimes resulting in thousands of cranes being found together.

I take from this connects to the importance of gathering with like-minded people to stay inspired and on track. There is great value in the exchange of ideas. This omen is saying it may be time to get together, to congregate and be creative. To regroup and reassess. Create think tanks. Make music together. Exercise together. If this world is going to get better, we have to learn to live and work with each other, without trying to make others be as we are. To acknowledge and respect our differences and see the value in each of us singing our own song.  It's amazing to sing in unison, but you should be able to carry a solo as well. Sing your own song. See who joins in.

Another thing about these cranes...they are mainly herbivorous but will eat whatever is seasonally available. A reminder to eat more veggies and foods that are locally grown.

Cranes use their long beaks to dig deep into the shallow wetlands for roots and seeds; a reminder for us to look within our emotional murkiness to examine the roots of our issues and the seeds we have planted.

Wetlands have a lot of standing water. Almost any wetland can provide some measure of flood protection by holding the excess runoff after a storm, and then releasing it slowly.  Wetland soil acts as a sponge, holding much more water than other soil types. This speaks to me of letting your emotions percolate for awhile and not just reacting to the first emotion you experience.  Anger, once accepted and surrendered, can transform into understanding and compassion.  Shame can transform into humor.  Jealousy can give way to love.  We can filter out the toxins, our own personal poison we place onto the situations that occur around us. As we learn to meditate on those situations, new understandings take the place of anger or hurt. We transform the past, take the wisdom and leave the pain and labels behind. 

There is a lot of metamorphosis happening under the surface of wetland water. Your creative process may require some periods of stillness.  Just because you are not in action mode doesn't mean that nothing is happening.  Give yourself time and space to get quiet. You will be surprised what inspirations pop up when you make some space in your mind.

The predators of the sandhill crane are foxes, coyotes, racoons, lynxes and wolves. Birds that eat the little cranes through the plundering of nests are ravens, crows and hawks.  Peregrine falcons, eagles and large owls will eat cranes of all ages.  

As a sign, this mean that your limitations may be your inability to be inconspicuous (fox),  or you may be having difficulty seeing the humor in life's follies and embracing the change that chaos can initiate in your life (coyote) an inability to see the challenging people and situations as the perfect teachers to ready you for the next great experience (wolf). There is a possibility that you need to be more adaptable and use your ingenuity with the resources you already have at your disposal (raccoon) to be more successful. Try to see the positives in the negative (crow) and prepare yourself for miracles (raven).  Pay attention to the omens that appear (hawk) as they are messages from Spirit. Try to see the big picture and don't let yourself get all caught up with the details (eagle), trust your instincts (owl) and when you make your choice, dive in without hesitation (falcon).

I have been asking the Universe for guidance. Thanks Sandhill Crane.  I hear you.  Loud and clear.


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