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Let’s Talk Theme: A Thousand Cranes

No competition last weekend. That was weird, right? But there was much fundraising! I hope everyone enjoyed some pancakes…and a nap.

And since there’s a lull in the action, let’s look at this year’s theme. A Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. The stories have grown, that instead of a wish you can be granted happiness, eternal good luck, long life, or recovery from illness or injury. Gifts of a thousand paper cranes strung together are given to friends and family, a beautiful symbol of love.

Said to live for a thousand years, the crane, one of the mystical creatures in Japan, symbolizes peace. So, its tiny paper counterparts has come to represent loyalty, nobility, and beauty. Anyone with the patience to fold 1,000 paper cranes deserves a wish, deserves to be happy, deserves to live a long peaceful life. I tried to fold one…once. It was hard. I gave up. I’m sure this is fine and my doom does not lurk in the future.

But there’s a tale of one person who almost did it. Almost folded a thousand cranes. At two years old, Sadako Sasaki was exposed to radiation from the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. As she grew up, she developed leukemia. Inspired by the legend, she sat in her hospital bed and folded cranes, wishing for world peace, for no more bombs to fall. At age 12, she died before completing her 1,000 cranes, and her classmates finished them, burying her with the paper folded with hope and love. Though the story her family told, the one written at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, tells that she did finish and continues to fold them even in death, continuing to wish for peace.

The paper crane still stands as a symbol for hope, love, honor, and peace.

The story, though sad, reminds us to look for the happiness. To wish. To live. To never give up.

And we won’t.

This week we head back to competition mode and move onto Homestead. For me it means time to hang papers on lockers!

See you all in the stands! Get ready to cheer for the Spirit of Woodlan!

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