To Be A Mockingbird

Every morning when Dennis and I are at our kitchen table eating our Special K and reading the newspaper, we hear a familiar sound. It’s a mockingbird sitting on our chimney going through his morning ritual – singing a through-composed song from start to finish. Because the chimney feeds into the fireplace in our kitchen, the sound reverberates and makes it sound as though the bird is inside the house. We’ve almost learned to tune it out but one recent morning I chose to listen. As annoying as it was, it spoke to me.

At first, I was kind of sad for the creature because – alas – he had no song of his own. He just listens and mimics what he hears. I could have stopped there and vowed to never become like him. But the mockingbird has, through modern literature, become the symbol of innocence; hence this quote from Harper Lee’s classic:

 “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy… but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

The rest of that day I thought about all of this. (Apparently I had nothing else really deep  to think about.) The more I thought the more resolute I became to “make my own kind of music” as the Mamas and the Papas used to sing. To sing only my own special  song. But after awhile, before I decided to abandon the idea, I thought again about the bird’s unique quality. It’s really the only bird of its kind. Did you know that it even mimics the sounds of insects and certain amphibians? That’s quite a talent, I’d say.

Anyway, the lesson I got from that day of incredibly deep thought was that we are all made and relate uniquely to our Creator whether we are creating songs of our own or singing someone else’s. Apparently there’s a place for us all.


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