1,000 Cranes

August 23, 2013

Sorry for the non-design related post but today represented a bit of a personal milestone for me. A bit over 10 years ago my oldest daughter excitedly taught me how to fold an origami crane. She’d just finished reading book describing the ancient Japanese legend that if you fold 1,000 cranes you are granted good luck. I thought it would be fun to try to start every day here at work folding a crane and trying to think about my children.

I've had some gaps and missed days but this morning I folded and hung the 1,000th crane on my ceiling. It’s fun to reflect on all the changes those cranes have seen.

Ten years is sort of a long time. My daughter Kat has since gone on, graduated from college and grown into a delightful young woman living in Wichita, Kansas, of all places. My middle daughter graduates from college in December and my youngest leaves in a few weeks to enroll at the University of Washington in Seattle. Yikes. How did that happen, cranes?

I’m not sure there’s a grand message here — perhaps the value of persistence — or maybe just the power of stubborn habit.

The cranes have seen our company more than double in size. They’ve seen good people come and an occasional good friend go. I’ve folded cranes through good times and badthrough wars, through peace, through recessions and through irrational exuberance. I moved the entire flock when expansion drove me to a new office. I folded cranes on days when I wondered how we’d get projects completed (we always seem to) and folded cranes on days when I wondered if we’d have enough work (we always seem to).

I’m not sure there’s a grand message here — perhaps the value of persistence — or maybe just the power of stubborn habit. I do know that it’s fun to look at my ceiling and think of every one of them as a tiny reminder of the inevitable passage of time and a totem to the things that really matter in life.