Last In, First Out

An awful reality of the working world is getting fired. Or let go. Or being told “your services are no longer needed here.” I have been the unfortunate recipient of just those words, and believe me, I never wanted to go on vacation ever again. Going on vacation meant for me the opportunity of those left behind to complain bitterly about the misadventures I had not only before vacating, but during the entire time of employment, by discretion, before that time.

So, I hated going on vacation. Because there was a good chance that bad news would welcome me back to my desk.

Part of this phenomenon was the fact that I was often the last person to be hired, by discretion. This was less of a threat as I stepped up the ladder of time, and felt more secure and sure of my place in the discrete workplace. Just as this is a fact, many flowers that appear this time of year remind me of that reality.

Take the early risers. They faithfully come back to ask – what are you doing? How was your winter? I carefully step around their invisible roots as I observe their conditions. Are they healthy? Are they less vigorous? More? Tulips and daffodils are secondary to the really early returns.

Early spring bloomers precede them all. As the ground warms, gets soggy and restores life to these sleeping beauties, they pop up to welcome the day. They are the last ones to be planted in the late fall and they are the first ones to return in the early spring. They return to our gardens after a long absence.

That is how it should be. Absence should make the heart grow fonder, it says. Not create an atmosphere of bitter abandonment. These little workers never left. They are merely following an age-old mandate that should teach us something. We too should be able to rest, comfortable in the knowledge of a welcome, a careful treading around, a look to ensure grace, on our return.

In that way alone, we will continue to blossom.

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