On many mornings, I walk to our neighborhood library to pick up a book. While much of the neighborhood is residential, in front of the library there is a major six-lane road that is constantly streaming with cars.
A couple of days ago, I noticed a mockingbird perched at the very top of a tree in front of the library, and only a few yards from the rushing traffic below. It was singing the most beautiful song, nearly imperceptible above the roar of the cars and trucks. Were it not for its song, I would not even have looked up and noticed this plucky little bird.
It was almost impossible that other mockingbirds could hear it. And yet the bird continued, undaunted, performing the most beautiful melody you had ever heard, completely unique, completely original. It seemed as if it could not do otherwise.
That little bird made me realize how important it is to create something beautiful even if it seems that there is no one there to see or hear it. Artists must work against the din of our tech-heavy lives, where distractions abound and finding the time to appreciate a work of art eludes even the most well-meaning people.
But because that one mockingbird kept on singing above the traffic, I stopped in my tracks and just stood there, enjoying the music, nearly forgetting the cacophony of diesel and steel. That’s what art is for. To help us tune out the din and tune in to the beauty that is around us.