Walking into the back door of the Hyatt hotel where our conference for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) would be starting in a couple days, I was greeted by these 3 sandhill cranes.
They seemed less surprised to see me than I was them. In fact, they seemed Disney-like, posing for a few pics as I walked by.
My last visit to the Orlando area in 2012 gave me some great photo ops with cranes, and I was able to use a bit of the video footage I lucked out getting then in my newest short video, Yay Babies! (Watch it--it's a 2-minute adorable and meaningful creation.)
This time I was going into a weekend mixture--great to see so many people I know because of my work with HEAR US Inc. Challenging/difficult because we had an organizational meeting that promised considerable angst. I was deeply involved with trying to work for solutions that would be--in the opinion of people I knew--best for the organization, but not popular.
What is right is not always popular. What is popular is not always right. (Einstein)I'm used to dealing with unpopular. I used to be a sports official. And for 3 decades I've worked on the side of homeless people, fighting to make things better. I've gone up against legislators, and stood strong when people with too much self interest were ignoring the common good.
But I have to say that this election season cast a toxic cloud over my head, and over the heads of those I was allied with in this situation. Our democratic process on the association level reflected too much of the dysfunction on the national level.
The cranes. Their timing couldn't be more perfect. According to the website TurtleZen, sandhill cranes have a special mission.
They are high flyers, always announcing their presence with loud calls. Because of this they are often considered noble guardians, calling out loudly to forewarn. When the Sandhill Crane appears there is usually something in our life we need to watch out for and pay attention.Those of us who echoed loud calls for change at the meeting did our best to stop the current potentially disastrous direction some on the board were heading. Without our unified efforts, a few people would be allowed to disregard the wishes of many and inflict harm to our organization.
I never saw the cranes again. Maybe they figured if I didn't pay attention the first time, I was beyond help. But I did pay attention. And I think things are better for it, thanks to courageous efforts of a small group of stalwart colleagues. For now. More work ahead...as always.