Birds Gotta Fly

Birds Gotta Fly

Those of you who follow Herbalogic on Facebook might have noticed a few posts that feature photos of a cranes with a number in the lower right corner. Some of you have even reached out and asked, “What’s up with those?” In the wise words of Inigo Montoya, “Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

Japanese folklore says that the act of folding 1,000 origami cranes brings good fortune, or wealth, or the granting of one special wish. This tradition spread worldwide when Eleanor Coerr authored the non-fiction, children’s book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. It tells the story of a young girl, Sadako Sasaki who developed leukemia due to radiation exposure from the atomic bomb detonation over Hiroshima in 1945. She folded paper cranes in hopes of being cured of the cancer, but died at the age of 12, after only folding 644. Her classmates folded the balance, and Sadako was buried with 1,000 paper cranes. The true details on whether or not the real-life Sadako folded the full 1,000 herself is a matter of dispute; what is not in dispute is how her crane folding and subsequent death transformed the ancient legend of folding 1,000 cranes into a transcultural symbol of peace and hope.

In August 2019, Herbalogic had its twelfth birthday. I conceived the idea of folding 1,000 cranes and sending them out to the people who have helped make these 12 years possible. I convinced the Herbalogic team it would be a fun way to thank the people who make our terrific herb company possible. But that’s only part of the story.

I am a serial crafter. My husband would tell you it’s something of a problem. I knit, I make stained glass hangings, I create jewelry, and I throw pottery- yes, that is actually the verb for making awkwardly heavy, asymmetrical bowls. The paleolithic version of me would have agreed to help with the mastodon hunt, but only in hopes of getting some of the blood in order to paint pictures on the back wall of the cave.

Folding origami cranes at work was just a way to get more crafting into my Herbalogic day. Occasionally there’s opportunity to assemble a gift basket or maybe to tie bows on bottles of herbs. But the cranes give me a craft to do whenever I need a break from looking at spreadsheets. When I can fold origami cranes in the cause of hope and peace, meetings to debate mundane yet essential business topics like discounting strategies are so much more palatable. I folded four cranes procrastinating on this post before I finally set fingers to keyboard.

The pictures on Facebook are the crane counters. The number tells you how many we have sent out to date. If you haven’t gotten one, and you want one, please, send us an email and let me know so I can add you to the mailing list.

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