What it would be like, to be flying high above the traffic-stained pathways between the concrete structures of the city. To be soaring next to your classmates, colleagues, friends, taking each turn with them, facing each dip with the ones you trust to fly with you. Sat at my desk, writing a university paper that is due next week, I sit alone. My roommate sits the other side of a wall doing her work. Also alone. What it would be like, to go through life with the social security birds find within each other. They flood past my window in a crowded mesh of black figurines, flapping so staccato my eyes are drawn to them like a flashing television set. Each and every movement is carved together, not a leader in sight but instead a bond between them that allows any one of them to take that next direction. And yet, I see one flying solo. Away from the group, it doesn’t fit into the patterns drawn out on the skyline by its peers. It flies alone, and so we can reflect on why it is that sometimes even social beings like birds or humans feel the need to be alone. And yet we know that the group is there, soaring through life, maybe on a different path but you know you are always welcome to join. Just as that solo flier gets lost in the mesh, I can no longer distinguish it. And, in the blink of an eye, they stop flying. Together, they rest. And as the sun sets below the streams of cloud behind the university clock tower, I realise I am not working alone. I’m working on a different path in order to be part of something, a human society, which I will eventually come back to. After all, like birds, we eventually fly through life together. And we rest when the sun goes down.
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