Bird on a log

She had expected her last day at the job would be an emotional one, filled with heart-to-heart conversations and an evening of drinks and laughter after work. And yes, she was disappointed when her goodbye conversations were treated as perfunctory obligations by those she had worked so closely with for so many years. By noon, she realized there would be no party this evening. But as she left the office for the last time, she realized her casual dismissal was in line with her entire nine-year career at that job. She had never felt at home there, always felt she was in transition. A memory suddenly came to her, from a time she had visited her grandparent’s home in the country on a wintry weekend. She had been looking out the kitchen window at the birds, landing briefly in the back yard and quickly flying away. One bird, though, landed on a log and remained, not frozen (it hopped up and down the bark, head twitching up and down quickly), but unlike the others seemingly interested in some aspect of the yard. She knew the bird would eventually fly away (which it did, moments later), but in that brief time she wondered what could have made that bird choose to stay for such an extended period. Leaving her job that day, she knew she was like that bird, knowing it would not remain in place long but comfortable to stay for a moment.

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