Being unafraid

When we find ourselves in trouble, the first thing to do is get rid of fear.

The past few years, our city has become a stopping point for migrating Canada geese. Every playa—a desert basin turned into a lake by heavy rain—is filled with them. On each "lake" are also ducks and other types of geese that have been there for years and are unafraid of people. The Canada geese, however, aren't quite so sure of us yet and they avoid contact—purposely staying yards away, even if we're offering food.

A few days ago, while I was at a park with my children, we were feeding the ducks. Not far away in the water was a flock of geese. Usually they fly off or move away when we approach, but this time was different. One goose swam over and began to eat the food we were offering. He got very close and gently ate among the ducks. Instead of fighting for food, he made sure the food was within his range, rather than push to get more.

At first I thought, "How wonderful; now all the other geese will know it's safe! They've seen him eat and won't be afraid anymore. Any minute they'll come join him." But it didn't happen. Even though they were watching, not one of them (and there were hundreds) attempted to get closer.

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Home—not for sale
June 28, 1993

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