Geese are such pushy creatures, and today they called up memories of that summer with Grandmother, in Santa Cruz, when I went to feed the geese and they charged me. They were so tall--their eyes looked directly into mine--and I fell backwards, clutching the paper bag of stale bread. Of course they dove for it, and of course, I was terrified by all those birds surrounding me, their wings flapping, their beaks diving for me. I got up and ran to the car and they followed me -- I still held the bag. I remember them surrounding the car, looking in at me, their beaks opening and closing...
Today I know to toss the bread away from me and keep it coming fast enough that they don't come after me. And I am done, I walk quickly away, and watch them from a distance.
I think sometimes that I react to people the way I do to geese.
Since childhood, I was overwhelmed by people, by their apparent desire for what I had, and it seemed that they pursued me, even to the point of delving inside me, pecking and pulling at my soul. I would huddle in that saferoom of my mind, relying on glass to protect me from what frightened me.
Today, I am still on my guard with people, but I try to give willingly what I think they want. Sometimes I give until I am empty, and then I distance myself, and observe. Will they want more, I wonder, even when I have nothing left to give?