The Mockingbird

Gertrude W. Hockinson

One night recently, when I was wakeful, suddenly in the midnight stillness I heard a mockingbird sing. Coming at that hour the cheerful little song lifted my heart and perspective.

It reminded me that the world is great, and full of lives other than human that also have a bearing on our own. Some — like flowers and trees and birds — we enjoy observing, but there are myriads, of atomic and cosmic proportions, that we cannot see. Yet all go about their mysterious business of living around us while we are unaware. Like the mockingbird, who gave me pleasure but sang for reasons of his own, their simple living touches and affects us in wonderful ways. They do not know us as we think ourselves to be, and how often do we consider them as evolving beings similar in principle to ourselves? All we seem to know is that we live and breathe!

But the "breath of life" is more than air to breathe. It comes to us, and to every creature, by our attachment to divine planes of being. Everything from atom to man to a universe is manifest through the energy of a superior will. So in the real sense we enter into life not just out of personal causes but more as some degree of expression of a greater than human nature, that is itself one in an infinite chain of evolving units, each useful and dependent upon the degrees below and above its own. Man cannot possibly live to himself alone.

So the mockingbird, just by being himself, showed me once again that I alone do not have to solve all the world's ills. We humans, with everything that lives, are co-workers in the glorious, sacred panorama of LIFE ITSELF.

(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 1988. Copyright © 1988 by Theosophical University Press)

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