The second lesson of my initiation is Center.
The middle of my journey was about the center of all things, and finding that center within oneself. It sounds odd to me that I should say that the lesson is "center" rather than "centering" or "being centered". . . but truly, that is the lesson here, for it encompasses much.
There is a place that we go, the Center of Worlds, that is inhabited by a crane. Here, the land, sea, and sky all meet, and here we can access the cosmic waters and the heavens above.
It is said that a lone crane lives on the isle of Inishkea near Erris, Co. Mayo, and will remain there until the end of time. This crane is at the edge of the world, not the center, but I often think of this crane as being very much like Garanus: both cranes clearly inhabit a place, keeping watch and reliable in their singular locality to those who seek them out. They were there before us, and they will be there long after we are gone.
What stands out to me is this notion of the water-skate in Zuni myth; it can easily be translated into the notion of the Crane:
At the center of the worlds, there stands a crane: one foot is on the land, one foot is in the waters, his eye is raised to the heavens. It is in his heart that the Three Realms are joined, and this marks the "center place," the heart of the Realms and the Worlds.
The heart of this crane is directly above the heart of the Earth Mother, and directly below the pole star of the heavens. When those who honour the Crane come together to form a Grove, they align themselves with this center: each one standing firmly upon the bosom of the Earth Mother, directly above her heart and directly below their own pole star, with this centered ritual place located both about them in physical form and spiritually within their heart.
Any shrine upon which a fire is lit and Garanus is honoured is a center as well: a permanent home for the heart of the Crane.
This is the lesson of centering I carry forth: each of our hearts are the heart of the crane, each of us is centered in the world, and each of us can work from that place and bring change to all things as we change ourselves. We must be the change we wish to see in the world, and we must transform ourselves, with the aid of the Crane, in order to transform others around us. My work is now to learn to explain this better, to bring others to the center of worlds.
So these are the ways, visible to the community, that I will work to fulfill the second charge the Kindreds placed upon me during my initiation.