A long time ago I wrote about how much I wanted a mockingbird family to make its home in our front yard tree. It would make me happy if even just one mockingbird would move in and sing. But, mockingbirds come and mockingbirds go. They sit on the branches and sometimes they even sing a song or two, but as long as we and that tree have been here, five years…make it six come May…no nesting mocker family has taken our offer of free rent.
It just must be the wrong kind of tree. What is the problem with it? Is it too close to the street, too near the front walkway? That doesn’t seem to make sense. We see signs placed in prominent places such as by the main hospital entry warning of mockingbird nests in the surrounding shrubbery! Not enough leaf cover for privacy? Is the bark too rough for little feet? Maybe it’s too smooth? Are the branches too narrow for holding a nest secure? Since no other bird family has built a nest there either, it seems it is simply not a nesting tree.
It has grown straight and tall and provides shade, so it is useful for humans.
It adds an aesthetic quality to our front yard, so is good for the neighborhood.
But, I asked for a mockingbird. It’s obvious: that tree is not good for a mockingbird’s abode.
However, as I sat at my desk a couple of days ago, I looked out the front window, and on that tree, tap-tap-tapping away was a handsome, crisp, black and white Ladder-Backed Woodpecker. I sat spellbound, knowing all I could do was watch. To try to get my camera and be there in time to take a picture, would ruin the scene. This photo would have to be committed to memory. He worked less than a minute, then he was gone, only to return for dessert a couple of minutes later. This image too is captured only in my mind, but in beautiful black and white. After that he was gone, never to return.
After he left, the thought for this article came to mind:
“But God, “I Asked For A Mockingbird.”
How many times do we miss the beauty our Father sets right in front of us because we asked for something else? Think about it. Have you asked for any mockingbirds lately?
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-22-2011
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