That sinking feeling



Herodias stood on one leg, leaning his head forward to balance his long neck against the weight of his body. He looked out of his right eye, down to the still muddy water beneath him. Taking one step forward, he slowly turned his head, and peered out of his left eye into the murky mattted lake grass to his left. He was completely still and silent as he hunted for unseen minnows and frogs.

I tried to mimic him, but the tails of my white coat quickly became soaked. When I turned my head ever so slightly to look for the unseen patients hiding amongst the tattered subscription magazines in the waiting room, my stethescope plunked into the water below me. I tried to balance on one leg, but I needed two feet to chase the plague that drifted in the sticky humid air of the emergency department.

In constrast to the placid, peaceful cove in which Herodias earned his living, my world was chaotic and stressed. While Herodias performed his work with precise measured strides amongst the cool muddy flats of his natural refuge, my work was done in stacatto bursts of irregularly irregular demands from patients, nurses and lab technicians.

Herodius was at peace with his world and blended in perfectly. I stood apart from my world wishing I could surrender myself to the muddy oasis that Ardea Herodias called home.

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