A Mockingbird’s Dance

By David Weiskircher

One day while I was driving to meet Genie for chemotherapy treatment, I stopped at a traffic light. Out of the normal field of vision, something caught my eye. Across the street was a telephone pole, and at its top fluttered a mockingbird. Suddenly he leapt up and into a gust of wind. He somersaulted twice before leveling off. Then he danced across the sky. When the wind quieted, he came to rest on the pole. But when the wind blew again, off he’d dance. As I waited for the light to change, he did this a handful of times. There was no practical reason for him to do this. Was he doing it just for fun? I couldn’t help but smile.

During the period that she worked, Genie and I would go to the doctor’s office in separate cars. I would have rather been with her in the same car. Truth be told, I would have rather been with her all day long and deep into the night.

But there was something about those little solo drives I came to look forward to. Daily, there are too many things that require too many decisions from all of us. And even though and ever present in my mind was Genie, and cancer, I found a way to let my mind go on those drives, if for mere minutes a day.

For many, the world’s everyday worries mount, and sometimes they take over. Politics, war, the economy, the list goes on. Why is it only the dire and dour make the news? Where is the good news? Where are the smiles?

Looking through the generations you’ll find that there was always a fear or two, maybe three or four, breathing on mankind’s neck. But there has to be more to life than that. There’s family, and there are friends. There’s your husband or your wife. They can be seen and held. The smiles and laughter are real, and they’re now. They are in our hands today, to kiss, to dance with, and to laugh with.

In the beauty of spring, Genie and I would often have lunch at the same restaurant. After hard winters, we welcomed fresh flowers and bright sun, so we’d sit outside to better enjoy each other in the presence of the sun.

There are a series of light poles in the middle of a divided road that fronts the restaurant. On top of one was a mockingbird. Probably not the same one I’d seen on the telephone pole, but who knows?

This mockingbird, every time we came for lunch, would fly from pole to pole, singing, true to his name, an amazing repertoire of songs: a little robin, some cardinal, a little Sinatra, some church bells. He was singing like nobody’s business, but he was singing for everybody’s business. He sang from the heart straight to the heart, his gift to us. I think he recognized in Genie an appreciative audience. She welcomed him warmly and complimented him on his singing abilities. She heard his gift on those gloriously sun-filled days.

When Genie died it seemed that sun-filled days were from a different time and place. All I saw were shadows.

But one day, I pulled myself together. I felt like a concert, but I didn’t know if the performer was still there. It had been years.

It was a clear summer’s day, a day in which the blue of sky allows the thin clouds to look as white as freshly fallen snow. I sat next to a carpet of green grass and watched a little friend dance to his heart’s content in a gust of wind. I heard a little robin, Sinatra, and some church bells.

And I smiled.


No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question

.It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing.

The real and proper question is:Why is it so beautiful?

Bertrand Russell

About this writer

  • David WeiskircherDavid Weiskircher grew up on a farm in the tree-studded hills of Ohio, but then moved to Florida. From there he made a short hop to Atlanta and worked for Corporate America hoping he’d come to love it, but such was not the case. But one day he looked beside him and found his love just standing there...and patiently waiting.

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3 Responses to “A Mockingbird’s Dance”

  1. Erika Hoffman says:

    Lovely, moving , thought-provoking.

  2. Rose Ann says:

    A beautiful, moving essay.

  3. Linda O'Connell says:

    Love those signs from on high. Great essay.

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