There are tons of Mockingbirds where I live now. I hear them and see them every day and this has made me wonder about them and their possible significance in my life. When I walk the dog at 4 am, I hear one in the same tree serenading me. I’ve read that it is a rare bird that will sing in moonlight. How lovely!
It reminds me of a poem I wrote many, many years ago, when I was just 21 and about to get married for the first time. It started:
The first bird of the morning called to me
And I answered…
That’s all I recall of the poem, but I was writing about a Mockingbird. The marriage ended, but my memory of the Mockingbird song has not.
Peterson’s Field guide says of the Mockingbird song: “…a varied, prolonged succession of notes and phrases, each repeated a half-dozen times or more before changing. Many Mockingbirds are excellent mimics of other species.”
One wonders what nature was thinking to have this species mock other birds? Mocking in humans is often considered cruel and is discouraged. To mock another is in a way to make fun of their song or their voice. But somehow the Mockingbird never appears anything but lovely and bold in her sweet aria.
They say: imitation is also the highest form of flattery. So then, maybe this bird is merely trying her best to blend in to the chorale around her? I’ve always been very outspoken and said my own thing and usually disagree with the current crowd. My refrain is rarely in sync with others and this has caused me much heartache.
In the book “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews, he says of Mockingbirds: “Whenever the Mockingbird arrives, look for opportunities to sing forth your own song. Follow your own path.” Maybe by knitting the ideas and voices of many, I’ve tried to speak out boldly like a Mockingbird in my own way.
I know it is a protective bird, flying at me if I get too close to its nest. And they are fearless and will live near humans–that’s why I see them everywhere here! They seem to love to perch up high and belt their anthems, always with a sharp eye on the observer.
What does this mocking, mimicking, bold and fearless bird mean to my life? I am trying to learn my song, but also blend the chorus of others into a melody so that my song becomes richer and more beautiful. I have absorbed from others their songs and listened to their wisdom and woven it into my own verse.
And I am finally learning to stand up on the highest point and sing out loudly without fear of what others might think of me. To be bold and fearless like the Mockingbird and to protect those people and ideals I hold dear.