Leo was not with us today.
I had great plans for this day but alas, your children who are so alive, creative and present with themselves, had their own organic plan so, it was my job to follow with some quiet direction. As soon as we got to the Lake they wanted to run, go to familiar places, explore where they had been to see if anything was the same or different. More specifically, to see if the Banana Slug home they made was still there and if any Banana Slug’s were residing there in. The house had but no Banana Slugs.
I did my best to call them in for a story that I had planned. They stayed, ate, listened but the activity I had, had to be brought in far more invisibly so that is what I did later in the day. I wanted to lay different trails with different materials, rice, crackers and dried string beans and follow them back to see if they were there, if we could see them, follow them etc. It was from Hansel and Gretel that we would learn such great skills. I told the story but with a different focus. The focus was on Hansel and Gretel’s great skill at observation and team work.
However, as I have already said, they just wanted to unfold in their own natural time frame so, that is what happened and I just broadened this a little bit.
Lenny and Bodhi went straight off to a certain part of the creek to explore and Sidona and Simone went exploring close by on the other side of the creek. We walked over the log and Simone was delighted with recalling how brave she was when she walked over it last time! She chose to scoot over this time.
I started to work with stones and share with them how to listen to the different sounds of the stones to figure out which ones are better for hitting and turning into knives and tools. They joined me for a bit. I then quietly made a trail with the green dried string beans and made a call that they are familiar with to try and find me. Sidona took the lead with this and finally found me. She said she didn’t follow the trail though. Then all of them came over to me and we worked at finding the trail back. Each one of them found parts of it. It actually was not easy. They blended in far more then accpected!
We saw this man, woman and their little child go under the water fall and off the children went to explore this. Such giggles and delight when they were able to figure out how to get under the waterfalls and look through the water. They had to get a bit wet in order to really get under there so Sidona, when finished playing here, came back and changed her clothes. Simone really didn’t want to get her great shoes wet ( every week this challenge occurs. She REALLY likes the shoes she wears to Tender Tracks and they take a long time to dry apparently!) so, she took them off! and went barefoot with joy.
Later on we saw some other people go under and thought that they saw how we did this and followed just like we did. Sharing joys can be very fun to pass along!
They then remembered making potions with the buckets and asked if I would get the buckets out again. I did and great potions of ash and dirt were made. When that was done we went exploring down creek to find the Bull frogs that some of their friends that were there told us about. Down the creek we went and we heard the Bull Frogs but never actually found them. However, we did find the Horse tail plant that I had just told them a story about. I didn’t know where they were but here, we found them!!! How wonderfully supportive of life to guide us there!
The funniest part of the day for me was earlier, when I asked if they wanted to go on an adventure. They were clear that they did not. And, right as we needed to leave they all said, “Let’s go on an adventure” as if this was a new idea. I just had to laugh as they were so involved in the perfect adventure of the day with what they were doing. It takes a while to unfold and after three hours or so they were THEN ready to expand out. But alas, we could not.
I did not yet mention that earlier there was a man fishing there, illegally.His movements and communications were a bit guarded yet he caught a beautiful trout and was willing to share this with the children who were so very, very curious and inquisitive about the fish. They had fun touching it, holding it, looking at the blood coming from it and feeling it’s slimy skin. It was very beautiful. And, right before we left and right before they were ready to venture out into a grander exploration, they went back to the waterfall for one last giggling joy behind the waterfall and, Lenny and Bodhi emmersed themselves in the water.