Crescent Waning Moon
Rancho San Antonio

Bodie, Jasper, and Giulio, were not here.  Older siblings have a holiday this day…..And, a sibling, Angelies brother Chatain, joined us because of his school holiday.  This was a true treat.
I held off on the follow up story from Tuesday that I was going to tell. I  felt a need to share another anyway.  This is a  story that normally does not come out until March but….The story was Spring is just around the corner.  I have not wanted to tell this story but the truth is, the birds are beginning to sing their spring chorus in the morning, flower blossoms and leaf buds are coming out all over and the air is sweet with warm waves coming in.  Jackie Frost did show up early this morning and there were clouds that we were all watching that looked dark and filled with potential but alas, no rain came and only beautiful sunshine.  This did create a lovely ease for the day though.
After greetings, story and snack we cleaned up and made our way to our adventure.  We still had four rattles to be sewed but only two were here today to do so,Grace and Paul.

At Rancho San Antonio the children got to follow the “songline/clues” to all of our remembered spots in order to make it to our spot of the day: Go past Grandma Bay, over the concrete river, pass the Gnomy House, pass the three Woodpecker hotels, go over another concrete river , pass the long log, down the hill and there, ahhhhhh settle down at the creek and eat your lunch.

Chaitan was a joy to watch as he started out reading his book in the bus and sharing thoughts of how young the children were. He at first struggled up and down some of the hills as the other children scrambled up and down and, by days end he was running and climbing like all the rest of them with his beautiful smile all a glow.
The game that he was running around playing with them was,  Roller Coaster!  The place where we go to has a lot of up’s and down’s to run all around on and,that is what they did.  Alexi and Kashi,  mostly, were having the time of their life with this game.  I think they ran most of the afternoon!  And their roller coaster game just kept going on and on and on.  It was rather contagious as all the children eventually joined in the running up and down and all around.

During the rest of our time there was exploring with Lucy and Audrey, Paul sewing with Audrey, until he just had to run with the rest, Gracey sewing with me, though she is quite skilled at sewing solo and did not really need much assistance and then there was eating a fair amount of wild edibles.
In the creek there is almost always great Watercress. I was surprised that the children liked it!  It is quite “spicey.”  We also gathered and ate throughout the day Miners lettuce, Shepherds Purse (the valentines day plant),  Chickeweed, Mallow and I think I am missing some others too.

As soon as we got to this area and started to eat a little bit Kashi shared a game that he offered for kids to try their luck at jumping straight over the creek.  He, quite commically, did not want to do it because he might get his feet wet but he was really into seeing others doing it!  Lucy and Anjalie were more then game for this and they ran over and over and over the creek time and time again. Their feet DID get wet and they were not bothered in the least.  Kashi finally did join them as well as Alexi. Later they all took off their shoes and socks and had the time of it all.

There was much climbing up and down the slopes which took skill and crawling down and up the big log that slopes steeply into the creek.   There was a grand Poop party of four which only one had success with and Chaitan asked “Does this always happen?”
“Well, it often does”, I replied.

We saw so much wildlife and were able to get really close to some Ground Squirrels and Dark Eyed Junco’s. I am forever in awe and joy with being at Rancho San Antonio because the wild life is so unafraid of people!

The walk back was just as delighful as the walk there as we followed the landmarks back to our bus.

Third Quarter (waning half) Moon
Stevens Creek Open Space Preserve

VALENTINES DAY

Bodie was sick and he was missed as today we did something that we have never done before in the history of Tender Tracks: We laid out a full array of blankets and a stuffed animal carpet, you might say, with an entry way of flowers and a place for shoes to go before they entered.
The children were very respectful of staying off of this area until it was time to go to our “circle time.”   Before that, we got our pouches and instruments in order to great the day and continue to ask for Rain, Rain and More Rain!!! Then off to our special place.

They all most readily took off their shoes and found their places on the mat.  In the middle we laid out two sheep skins and at first a couple of them laid straight out on them.  We then suggested that if each just put their heads on it they all could have a part of the sheep skins.  They did this and then there was some time to fully adjust and get really comfortable, get the stuffed animals they wanted, if any and there they got RIGHT INTO getting very, very cozy.  I then began a “dream story.”  This was really like a guided imagery/meditation.  The focus was to bring them to a beautiful place where they find an animal that came just to them that they could tell all their feelings to because feelings must be shared not kept inside.  I started it off with feeling their bodies by way of shaking and jiggling hands, feet, arms, head, body and then being still. Each individual part.  There appeared to be joy in this.  They stayed predominantly still during the dream story until towards the end. There half of them popped their heads up and listened to the rest with eyes open. When it came time to tell their animal their feelings they  took their animal and quietly shared.  I would say that Gracey appeared to have much practice in all of this as she went right into it with much ease and knowing.  She told me later the animal that she spoke with.  This theme will continue as a way of supporting the knowledge of sharing our feelings instead of keeping them quiet inside.  Using words instead of fists, so to speak, and to come to understand our feelings more.

After this dream story Audrey and I served the children today. We gave them their cloths to wash their hands and gave them peppermint tea and water and a gluten free chocolate heart shaped cake with hidden pennies inside.  We sang the song before we gave it out, Love is something if you give it away…..just like a magic penny, hold it close you won’t have any. Lend it spend it you’ll have so many, they’ll role all over the floor…….  There was some sharing of pennies after that and the song was heard being quietly sung throughout the day by many.

Audrey and I cleaned up as they played and then, off we went to Steven’s Creek.  This is a great place when time is limited and big projects are at hand.  Where we go is very, very near to the bus so it is all very easy and time efficient.
When we got there they ran out and I brought all the things for making brick red paint and materials to sew our rattles.
They all know that to make our rattles will take a bit of time. This is one of the things I want for them from this project. The intention is to provide a joyful opportunity of postponment gratification, seeing what it takes to make a beautiful thing, learning to cherish what one has, the beauty of something that is not store bought and, well, you know, all these things that come from making something and taking ones time.

They all got really into being here, sewing, pounding the red brick that we had in the morter and pestle, as well as throwing the big brick pieces in order to make them smaller.  I had some awls that I was going to use to punch holes in the raw hide but instead wound up using the hole puncher I had.  They discovered how fun the awls were to poke and play with on this old dead log.  There they discovered some incredible little worm creatures.  They at times shared with ease all of their tools and pestles and at times needed support. Overall though, they were sharing, taking turns, being involved and busy with all that was going on.

They explored the area and were excited when we got there that there was so much more water in the creek.  This was a very fun,beautiful  and celebratory day with Sun shining upon us and involvement all around.

Waning Moon
Soreich Park

Purnat was home sick today.  Even thought the weather report was 10% rain that was just not the case.  The Sky poured fourth it’s liquid delight on us for a couple of hours. Sometimes strong sometimes gentle but always bringing beauty as we need it so very much.
The three of us just had such a good time and Bodhi at the end of the day and in great excitment said ” I love you Aero!”  They truly had such a good time together like great adventure buddies.   Throughout the day they traded off leadership of direction with great compatability and ease.   They both took our day into adventure after adventure. It all certainly went in a way I never would have expected and what fun to just do EXACTLY what Tender Tracks is about, being in the present moment and following it.

When we got out it was raining nicely though no down pour.  Aero wanted to go to the Big Rock right there.  I mentioned all about rainy days slippeyness and so we climbed carefully.  Not half way up Aero realized that he forgot his back pack so he and I got it and came back to climb the rock.  Up there we had such a great view and a wonderful vantage point to decide what direction we wished to explore.   Aero took the first lead and started us off down a very muddy slop.  They both thought this was great fun and  and wanted to go skiing down this hill.  We went on a familiar trail but then there was a fork in the road.  Aero took us one way but then there was another fork and Bodhi took us into some great tree stump and rocks but there really was no where else to go so, after a bit of exploring off we went back on a trail but, Aero wanted to go off trail and straight up a hill!   Bodhi went for this for awhile but then was really not liking the straight up thing so then we veered to the left.  Then Bodhi noticed Soap Root Plant after soap root plant.  We found incredible vole holes in the grasses and an magnificent dry dugout.  Who could have stayed in there while it rained?  Racoon? Rabbit? Skunk?  We didn’t find any scat or hair so we could only see the size of  the spot. After a time we moved on and wound up on a trail that led us straight to the swings but, Aero didn’t want to stop so they both agreed to keep going.  And which way did we go? Off trail and on up a deer trail.  And again, straight up the grassy hill!!!  Neither one of them were up for this so I veered them off towards an actual trail.  This then brought us crossing over rocks and the dry creek bed and there, at the base of an old Oak Tree a Bay and some Buckeye trees that were all around us. Here we stopped and began to eat!

After eating or actually while we were eating  Aero pulled my hood over my eyes and I began to play hiding and seeing games.  The two of them LAUGHED AND LAUGHED.  Bodhi would run and either pull it off or on my head and the two of them really thought this was truly funny!!!    After a time that stopped and I began to explore up and over some trees and rocks to sit in the SUN! yes, the Sun was showing itself on and off for the rest of the day.   I was on quite a slop right in the middle of a dead Oak Tree with a beautiful Bay tree behind it and some Buckeyes with great new green shoots near and around.   Bodhi found me and we sat there for a time.  He wondered where Aero was and I said, “Look, look through the trees, do you see him?”  Bodhi couldn’t see Aero as he played with some sticks and then he finally came over to be with us.  There we stayed and by no accident.  Bodhi DID NOT! want to leave the area of the sun.  They both REALLY liked this one area and wanted to “stay there all day!”  Bodhi said his brother should be there and I could be their Mom and we could just stay there.  I asked about their Mom’s coming and he said “Oh sure!!!!”
Here they began to peel the dead bark off of the tree and discover so many wonderful things underneath. And, Aero was into it being either a puzzle or the bark pieces becoming hats.  Bodhi liked finding the mushrooms underneath.  I told them a couple of stories about rainbows and mushrooms and then they began to dig. The digging turned into a game of burying me. Bodhi wanted to bury me but Aero wasn’t as interested as everytime Bodhi threw dirt over me Aero took it off and then he finally laid on me as the dirt was being placed on me.  There was discovery after discovery.

I went up a little higher for a moment and came down and Bodhi asked if I would go back up as he and Aero were having fun just the two of them. I complied with ease and stayed a bit away for the last ten minutes there.  They were delighted and played very sweetly.  I blew the ocarina to say we needed to leave and off we went.  But, as we were going down I heard this scream from Bodhi, he was coming down the hill and a big rock was sliding and was resting on his back.  He got very scared but I removed the rock, all was well and his recovery time was really short!  In such a healthy way we re lived and spoke about it for the next five minutes or so and then it seemed to truly be out of his system.  As we were walking though I was amazed, Aero’s body knew exactly how to get back just the way we came.  Well, all right, we went off in one area but after that, wow, we actually went back the same way, off trail, that we came.  They came across a sweet dog but they both were not so keen on it.
This was such a fine and happy day for these two boys, and me too!