Aaron was absent today and Talay was here.
Today we made STICK BREAD!! When I said that in the bus before we left there was quite a bit of “OH YUCK! I don’t want to eat STICK bread.!” It was clear that some of the children had images of eating bread made out of sticks!!!! So I will tell you what we shared with them: Stick bread is when you find a stick, clean it up by way of carving the outside bark/skin off and then make some dough that you put on it and cook it over the fire. Oh well, that sounded so much better! Yes?! Our circle therefore was all about gathering fire wood, sticks to carve, setting up the carving, getting the fire ready, setting up the ingredients for the dough and doing all of this. It took quite a bit of time, as you might imagine, yet, the fire got going, the sticks got found and cleaned, the dough got made, stirred, and for Ariel, tested, and then, all sitting by the fire with their sticks over it and learning how to cook bread over the fire. Some got more burnt then others, some slightly under cooked but all cooked enough to eat with great delight. By the time all of that was done it was lunch time so, out came the lunches in a circle that we had made. Lunch was getting a little wild so some stories came out for them.
After wards they played for a bit and then I brought most of them, those that weren’t with Michelle, into finding their own special tree, getting to know it and then giving it a special jewel. The way they found their jewel was by playing a game they are familar with. I put the jewel in one hand behind my back. We sang a song for this that they know and I began to pass the stone back and forth from one hand to the other behind my back. When I stop, they have to guess where the stone is. Rhett was quite good at this as he really watched closely to some very fine details of how my hands and arms were moving to figure out which hand it was in.
Each one spent sweet time getting to know their tree in a place that we have gone all year but never have spent time getting to know one tree like getting to know a human friend. Layton was so very precious with this. She asked how she could know her tree. I asked her how she knows her good friend Alara. She said “by her face.” Together we then looked at the tree and she began to see “a face” on the tree. We played some more games for her to get to know the tree better and then she went up to the tree whispering gratitude and love to the tree as she gave it a gift. Most of this was inspired by Ione who spent a good deal of the day with the most beautiful young and budding Oak tree. I think it was Oak, now I am forgetting a bit.:(
One of the most beautiful aspects of the day and how we truly wound up finding our own tree was that, while everyone was getting the stick bread ready Ione was sitting next to this little tree singing to it, talking with it and loving it so very, very much. When it came time to give it a gift she a gave it to her tree with such grace and beauty. Talay also LOVED her tree and made it a beautiful little home in it and put her gift in there.
Earlier Rhett and Ariel had a grand time looking for sticks and then carving them with care and following all of the safety rules with focus and attention.
Velia was having fun playing with her friends and stirring, stirring, stirring the dough. At lunch time she was really missing the story, candle, songs, and jobs like we usually do.
Alara was quietly playing and helping with the dough happily, happily, happily.
One of the most beautiful moments, besides watching Layton, Talay and Ione with their trees was seeing all the children, laying on the ground, leaning up against a log with their sticks hanging over the fire in a circle around the pit and a Ranger walking by delighted with this view. All he did was smile!!! This is a rare event as usually the Rangers are saying we shouldn’t do such things. I was in HEAVEN and in total joy with the entire image.
So, the day was joyously filled with making fire,cooking, carving sticks, getting to know trees, finding treasures, eating bread that they made themselves, giving thanks and being in joy. Pretty great yes?!!! And oh yes, at the very end of the day most of them decided to get completely wet at the faucet so they did this quicker then we could wink so, another changing party occurred.