Have you ever heard the legend about paper cranes? It says that cranes are mystical creatures that live for 1000 years. Japanese legend says that any person who makes 1000 paper cranes, one for each year of a crane's life, will be granted a wish. Some even believe that doing this will bring you eternal good luck.
So, as you can imagine, paper cranes were a very popular item delivered in the mail to Newtown after the Sandy Hook shooting. Hundreds of thousands of items were donated and one of the most beautiful things we received were thousands of paper cranes from all over the world, most made by kids. We probably have at least 50 wishes coming our way!
All the items that came to our town have been displayed at our town hall over the past couple of months. People took hours and hours to sort through it all and put it out for all to see. If you missed my guest post on Forever Newly Wedded you can check it our here to see some photos of the amazing things that were donated (also, check out her blog while you're there - it's pretty awesome!).
After a while, the town allowed people to come in and tag things they wanted to keep. First the victim's families came in, then the Sandy Hook School community and finally Newtown residents. My mom, who works at the town hall tried to tag a mobile for me that was full of the beautiful paper cranes to put in my classroom but we found out that Sandy Hook had decided to take all of them for the school.
This was fine with me. Sandy Hook should take everything and anything they want. And the papers cranes will be so perfect in that school.
Luckily, we were able to find several boxes of extra cranes and I took those. The cranes I got came from Arizona and Washington. They came in boxes that were littered with positive, healing messages.
My mom said, "the only problem with these cranes is you have to put all kinds of work into them to make them look nice." She was right. It was a lot of work. But this project could not have fallen into my lap at a better time. Last Wednesday, when I got the cranes, I had just found out that I would have an additional week of school off as they continued to try and clean up after the blizzard.
So, I started to work on it. I got the rings for the top of the mobile. I sorted it all. I made sure all the strands were even. I laid it all out, tied knots where they needed to be tied, glued, drilled and I finally got it all together. It was the perfect project for me to work on during my spontaneous week off.
I really can't imagine it turning out any better than it did. I love it and when I put it up in my classroom tomorrow, I know my students will love it.
Fun side note: the yellow crane at the very bottom of the mobile is one of one thousand paper cranes that Jeremie made me when my dad was diagnosed with cancer almost four years ago. He's now cancer free and enjoying life. So who knows, maybe the legend of the paper cranes is true.
I can't wait for my students to see it tomorrow. I don't think I'll tell them where the cranes came from. They don't need a reminder of what happened at Sandy Hook. But every time I look at it, I'll know what it symbolizes.