7 children and the weather was mild and welcoming, even inside the dark, damp and cool Redwoods. They love this place and know right where to go. I went here specifically for Everett. When the fires came a few weeks ago I was told that he was feeling quite sad over the loss of this wonderful place. So, I wanted to show him that it was FINE!! and we can still go there like always with great fun and delight, and, that is just what we did.
The day flowed, from my lens, with beauty, intrigue, curiosity, imagination and being in the moment. One of the many reasons that I love being with pre-schoolers!
Our circle time has a lot of Squirrel songs, looking for nuts and such and a Squirrel story about how they find their nuts, so we were intending again today to find Squirrel sign. Everett was really into this with me throughout the day and we did finally find some indents that were either Squirrel sign or deep tracks of, deer? It seemed to be the former though.
After circle the boys went STRAIGHT to building their home that they always go to, Thea played with the girls but also she and Nico returned to their game of running up and down and up and down the slopes where we were. It didn’t take long for others to follow them and then most were doing the same.
Two friends of mine came by with a beautiful dog and that was a wonderful time for Thea, Nicco, Velia, and Ariel. They could have pet this dog and chatted with these two adults for a long time. But, off they went and back to our play we went.
We had some very rousing games of hide and go seek, tracking and sneaking up on each other. Julian was a ROARING LION and we RANNNN from him. We hid in trees and logs, changed characters, crawled upon the ground, ran through the forest and half the children found a wonderful trail that led to a Redwood tree that had been burnt out.
After lunch there was the debate as to whether we wanted to stay where we were and explore this interesting and inviting Redwood tree up the hill or go see if we could find any signs of a Forest Fire. The later won out and off we went. My friends earlier said that there were signs up ahead near the Fairy grove. We had so many logs to climb over and under, looking, looking, looking and smelling, smelling, smelling for signs of fire.
We finally came upon yellow safety tap and signs posted. The signs said nothing about Fire just keep out of area and we sniffed and sniffed but did not smell fire. We met some people later that said a week or two ago beyond the yellow tape the fires were still smoldering. We did not see that but we did find our old stomping grounds! Julian was delighted when he discovered that we found where he and the others built a structure. Jai loved finding the bouncy tree as well as Velia, Ariel, and Thea. The four of them figured out some incredibly creative ways to first get on it and then share it, or not. No fighting this time that I was aware of. Linsey was with them and I was with Julian, Everett and, sometimes Jai and sometimes Nico bouncing on another, easier to get onto, branch. Nico found a HUGE Branch standing straight up to the sky that he loved shaking and shaking and shaking. Velia and Ariel LOVE, LOVE, LOVE putting their backpacks on the front of their bodies and pretending this is their babies. They take very good care of them too!!!
We found some wonderful tracks in the area, did not find any Squirrel scratch marks on the trees yet did find a little two year old boy that really liked playing with them all.
One of the very enjoyable parts of the day was when Everett scampered up a big tree trunk. Julian wanted to get up there too along with Velia, Ariel, Thea and Jai. One by one they asked for help and one by one they figured out how to do it all by themselves. Each time I went to help I was delayed. When I turned around, THEY WERE UP THERE and with huge grins of successful delight!!
Then came the time to figure out which way to go back to the bus. They figured out where the “short cut “was and how we got here on the first day then off we went down that trail.
This was a very beautiful day filled with aliveness.