Friday, September 3, 2010

There’s one space at my house I wouldn’t trade for anything, my back porch. When it’s not hotter than blazes or below freezing I sit out there for a while every day. It gives me a chance to reevaluate and on some days, just calm down.

One morning I heard a pitiful whine and wondered if the neighbor’s cat had slipped out and climbed the old oak tree near by. Then I thought a crow and a mocking bird were fussing at the cat. What sounded like a whole community in the tree turned out to be one bird, a cat bird. It has the ability to mimic sounds of other birds and evidently a cat.

I wonder if cat bird is short for copycat bird because that’s exactly what is does. I don’t think I would recognize it’s normal song, because it’s so busy trying to sound like everything around it.

Copying is something we start when we’re babies. It’s how we learn. A friend of mine overheard her three-year-old standing at the refrigerator, “_ _ _ _ it, there’s no yogurt!” It was a humbling reminder kids are like catbirds.

But as we grow up, trying to figure out who we are, girls especially imitate whoever and whatever is popular and just like the catbird they may not even know what their own song is.

Each of us has DNA that’s like no other person on earth. That alone makes each of us special. If we spent more time discovering our own talents, likes and dislikes and dreams instead of trying to be a carbon copy we would all probably be a whole lot less frustrated.

“You were born an original, don’t die a copy.”
~ John Mason

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