2021 Spring Message

March 24, 2021

Greetings to friends and family of Two Cranes,

I imagine that you all are embracing the signs of spring surrounding us. Even with the rains and dramatic gray skies, we smell the cherry blossoms and note the daffodils everywhere. And wow, we did it!  We worked, wrestled, wondered, and wandered through this year of a pandemic that none of us could have imagined. We found a way to offer classes on zoom 7 days a week, and we taught classes in the park in the sunshine and the pouring rain for our children, teens, and adults. We hosted instructors from the US and Europe and we diligently prepared our space to make it ready for the moment we can be together again in person. All of you have been so gracious in offering whatever you could: your emotional, physical, energetic support.  Thank you. Because of you, we are still here!

Aikido is a compass. It offers us a lifelong direction. It invites us to be kind in our hearts and multi-dimensional in our awareness. We are in this world together. It is upon us to recognize our likeness, our common humanity. Regardless of size, sex, and skin color, we need to extend our hearts and spirits to one another.  Instead of isolation and loneliness, we cultivate connection. Instead of doubting ourselves and each other, we hold kindness as if it were the most precious jewel.   I confess that often throughout this past year I have gone to the dojo to teach class feeling a little blue; sometimes a lot blue. After an hour of moving my body and mind on the mat and through the screen I find a sensory shift happens. What discouraged me that day diminishes as I raise my hands to the heavens, twist my body through time and space and feel a sense of connection with myself and others in the experience. Ah, the miracle of Aiki practice.

All of you know that we are gently expanding our training schedule to include in the dojo classes. We are calling our efforts a soft opening. We will do everything we can to create safety in the dojo. The teachers will teach on zoom, and the students that come to the dojo can enjoy the amazing feeling of placing their feet on the tatami and rolling their bodies like tumbling koala bears or earthworms.   You may not know this but earthworms are miracle creatures. They have no eyes or ears, but that they use their whole body as an organ of perception for the five senses OSensei said to Saotome Sensei that “Earthworms are geniuses of Aiki.  They make the earth fertile and enrich its yield at harvest.  In Tibet, among other parts of the world, they are thought of as the mothers of life and treated with reverence.” Let’s be earthworms and enrich our relationships and our communities near and far.  It’s a grand experiment and we will work it out together.

Love and light,


Kimberly Richardson Sensei