I'm going to be a bit lazy today for my monthly post here at Hopeful Parents and tell you that yesterday I wrote my 1,000th post on my personal blog, a moon worn as if it had been a shell. While doodling around the internet, trying to find an image of the number one thousand, I found an entry about one thousand origami cranes, and being the sort of parent, the sort of hopeful parent, that sees signs and symbols and messages in just about everything, I crafted the whole post around that.
An ancient Japanese legend says that if you fold one thousand origami cranes, your wish will come true. One Thousand Cranes, or the beautiful 千羽鶴 Senbazuru, are tied together with string. The crane, along with the tortoise and the dragon, is considered a mystical creature and is said to live for one thousand years. The Thousand Cranes has also become a symbol of world peace and are left outside to be weathered, dissolving and becoming worn and tattered. It is then that the wish is released.
About two and a half years ago, I began this blog, thinking that it would be a place to post poetry (not my own!) and write a bit about my life with Sophie and my two sons, Henry and Oliver. I was veering more toward the poetry because my life and my writing had been (and continues to be), literally, consumed by Sophie's seizures and accompanied disabilities. The blog would be an outlet, I thought, a place where I could be dark and funny and a tiny bit artistic.
Little did I realize that I would one day have written one thousand posts and met, along the way, a myriad of writers, artists, comedians and parents of all stripes and colors. And despite the occasional troll keeping me on my toes, the blog has been an incredible source of not only comfort and support but inspiration. I wonder what my life might have been like if I had had this blog fifteen years ago, when my daughter was diagnosed with infantile spasms, when I sat alone in a tiny bedroom, rocking my baby as she screamed for hours. Then again, what's the use in looking back?
I've decided to ask everyone who reads this to construct an origami crane for my daughter Sophie. If you aren't handy with paper, you can do it in your mind. Those intricate folds can hold your own wishes if you'd like, because despite being weathered and perhaps more than just tattered, I can imagine us dissolving into something better. We hopeful parents,especially, are tied together, many thousands of us, hoping for wishes to come true.
Elizabeth will be folding cranes and wishing and hoping over at her blog, a moon worn as if it had been a shell.