This month, I'd like to encourage you to take a moment to learn about the symbolism behind the origami crane. The origami crane, in addition to being one of the most commonly folded origami models, is a universal symbol of peace, hope, and love.
According to Japanese tradition, folding 1,000 paper cranes gives you a chance to make one special wish. One famous story surrounding the legend of the paper crane is the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who wanted to fold 1,000 cranes so she'd get better after being diagnosed with leukemia caused by the atomic bombing of Japan during WWII. She died before she could complete the task, but her story continues to inspire people through the popular children's book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.
Even if you don't have time to fold 1,000 paper cranes, I urge you to consider sharing the joy of origami with those around you by donating a few cranes to a worthy cause. For example, Origami Salami is collecting paper cranes to show support for those affected by the Sandy Hook school shootings last December. The deadline for this project was recently extended until March, due to an overwhelming response from folders around the world. Many children's hospitals also accept colorful cranes to use to decorate the rooms of their young patients.
Photo courtesy of Dana Hinders.