If the Whooping Crane Can ...

Kara Swanson, Brain Injury Blog, January 11, 2014
If the Whooping Crane Can ...

Not even a decade ago, the Whooping Crane’s numbers had dwindled to around fifty. They were on the verge of extinction and in very real danger.

Some fabulous people got together. They brought a compassion and a determination and a willingness to think outside the box that we can all applaud.

They designed and created a fake “Mama Crane” that would guide and direct orphaned young cranes out of Wisconsin before the punishing winter and get them safely to Florida before they died. From the time they were in the egg, they were treated to the sound of the engine from Fake Mama Crane and were literally taught to fly by following these awesome people dressed all in white, running down a runway, showing them how.

When they were ready, Fake Mama Crane flew and so did the young cranes. Fake Mama guided them all the way safely to Florida, just as a real Mama Crane would have. Instinct would show them the way back to Wisconsin’s wet lands after winter.

I marvel at the dedication and pure determination to save these beautiful birds. I giggle at the thought of them dressing as cranes and running, themselves, down a runway and leaping into the air, teaching these little crane babies to fly. Imagine the sight!!!! :) Big smiles here.

When it comes to any of us learning to fly again after devastation in our lives, I don’t know if I’m more inspired by the fake cranes imagining a new way to lead these orphans to safety or the young cranes themselves, running, running, running and finally trusting those sweet wings.

After traumatic brain injury demolishes what we had created as our normal, our chosen…we have to find a way….

Find a way and make our way to that runway again. We have to trust people determined to assist us in staving off our extinction. There are people out there, many cleverly disguised, who have that one simple word, that unexpected hug, that chance given, that door opened…who will help us change our lives and steady those wings.

If we let them.

Make no mistake, the enormity of TBI in a life threatens to extinguish a beautiful flame and it’s up to us to keep feeding it, to keep it burning.

Nobody could take that last step for those young orphaned cranes. Nobody could force them or do it for them. 

They had to lift off.

And so do we.

Today the Whooping Crane’s numbers have grown over four hundred. Slowly but surely these magnificent birds and the people determined to love and to save them have created a miracle of hope. A beautiful story of inching so dangerously close to history and then soaring again.

Choose to soar. Run down that runway. Ten times. A hundred times. A thousand….

Keep leaping into the air. Towards the sky. Towards the sun. Keep trusting that the next dream, the next step, the next attempt, the next path, the next morning….will be YOURS!!!!

Can’t wait to see you soar!!!!


From Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog. Used with permission. karaswanson.wordpress.com.

Posted on BrainLine March 24, 2014.