Nebraska, the scenic byway, the hidden crumbling of our small towns mere miles from the freeway where all the new buildings get constructed. Sandhill Cranes from the Eocene Epoch. What does it make me think about? It makes me think about survival and rituals and their relationship to each other. How does a species last 55 million years? Moving through repetition, long journeys from South to the Arctic. A ritual of pathways. The crane brain is closely related to the crocodile brain. Its wings are still sometimes born with remnants from the dinosaur age, little claws at the tips! The concept of old for our species is, short. When standing beneath thousands of sky layers of cranes as they flap and coast like fighter jets smoothly sliding across the sky, one can feel that oldness, a feeling that my brain cannot comprehend for my idea of long is one hundred years. In a mere one hundred years our country has become a world power and is on the muddy slope of that downfall. One hundred years. 55 million years the cranes have been making passage from north to south, without compasses or the next new gadget. We talk about survival, sustainability, understanding our place. The crane is my new obsession, deity, God. Yes, this animal is the one percent of species that have ever existed on the earth, that still persists in extreme elegance. They dance and sing with their trumpet-shaped vocal chords, their red-patched eyes constantly scanning the horizon for predators. I am convinced that their constant movement along familiar pathways is one of the keys to their endurance. I am also convinced that everything that each generation of Sandhill Crane has seen, is embedded in their understanding of this earth, and when I look up, I can almost see a birds-eye view of North and South America morphing and changing over millions of years. It is the long view.