Palo Alto Tender Tracks Day 26, Jan. 3, 2012

Waxing Gibbeous Moon
The Bay Lands Duck Pond

Anjalie came but was so jet lagged it seemed best that she go home and rest, Kashi came in very late from vacation adventures  last night and needed to stay home and rest and, if I recall, Grace was still on holiday.  That left 6 wonderful and very happy children with Audrey and I.  Truly, all the children were very happy, present and delightful.  Lucy really wanted her brother to come to Tender Tracks today since he still was not back to school.  There were attempts for him to come, he showed up yet had a change of heart, all the children went to support his participation but alas, it was more then he bargained for and he and Amanda went off.  Lucy was fine or at least seemed to jump right back into the day even though I heard that she really wanted her brother to come.

Bodie greeted Audrey and I with these wonderful “rescued sweaters” owl hats.  WHAT FUN WERE AND ARE THEY!!!!!  I didn’t want to take mine off all day until I just got too hot and had to!   And then, who showed up with his own owl hat?  GIULIO!!   He always wears his favorite pumpkin hat but what was here?  an Owl hat too!  That was so much fun.

The day, though filled with high energy joy presented itself in on going ease and flow with each moment, each experience. It was a day that was relaxed and  filled with  an unpressured pacing.  That is how the whole day went and how fun it was!

At circle time there were new and special little colored pouches for each direction for our direction song.  Each child chose a direction and when we came to their direction  part of the song they would throw out the “magick” from their bag.  Then after this song there was another new bag with rocks in it. Each rock represented a job.  They put their hands in the bag, picked out a rock and then got their job.  This was just wonderful, each child really enjoyed and took on their job with seeming pride.  In the snack was a wonderful little rock with a heart drawn on it. This was presented as a gift from the story and then the story came, Snowflake and the Dragon.  This story is a story almost always the first week back from winter holiday.  It begins on New Years Eve and it counts 9 months out of the year.  Therefore, I introduce the song that counts the months, seasons and days of the week.  It is about a Dragon, a princess, a great and Nobel Knight and the choice to kill a dragon or allow him to live and fulfill his task, to serve Snowflake all the days of her life. There are many themes in this story: choice, conduct, there is always help from all of life there for us and much, much more.   I bring stories in knowing that they will touch the soul in each child right where it is needed and that may be clear to me where that is or not. This story also brought in the usage of swords. Two wooden swords have been in the back of the bus and, Jasper in particular, has really wanted me to bring them out often.   I have told them all year the swords will only come out once a certain story is told.  And, the story was told and the swords came out bringing thought forms of , chivalry, respect for self and others and “codes of conduct” .  After the story the swords, in a very playful way, including what I just wrote came to play.  Jasper was DELIGHTED to be using these swords .  Bodie, Giulio, Paul and Lucy had a fine time with them as well as they all had matches with either Jasper or others.  Actually, it took a bit of gentle suggestion to get Jasper to relinquish one of the swords so others could have matches with  each other.  He some how kept winning the matches though.    They actually  got very creative with these swords yet I finally needed to share with them that they were not axes that cut down trees but truly just swords.  We would have to find other tools for the more strenuous tasks.

When we got to the duck pond more joy and delight was had for the rest of the day.  Observing diversity of ducks was the first fun to had and then  the day moved on. We were in great giggling delight, over the pigeons that would do an aerial show for us and music to our ears as they flew in graceful and harmonious form.   I said that they were doing a dance and when they came down they were resting. Paul thought that was SOOOOOOOOOO funny!!!!!!  We played and ate at our usual spot noticing the birds and Lucy showing Paul how to “share not scare.” This means she was showing him how to walk softly up to the birds to try to touch them instead of chasing and scaring them.  He stepped right in to that.  There were games of sneaking up, and finding lot’s of wonderful feathers.  Jasper and Giulio had quite the tussel over a stick.  A little further away from all of us we saw them both tugging and tugging at a stick.  I asked Bodie if he thought they needed help or if they might be able to figure it out on their own.  He thought they needed help.   I slowly went over there, with a non interference walk. As I almost got to them I heard Jasper, with a tugging breath type voice say, ” We could break it in two and then we would both have some.”  Giulio instantly and with a smile said “YES!”.  Jasper broke the stick in two and off they went.  Giulio actually dropped the stick shortly after and went happily onto another game with great ease.  Wow,that was the most beautiful moment of the day I think!  Brovo to the families of Giulio and Jasper for such skill that you have given your children.   Then, I really wanted to take them on an adventure at the duck pond that none of them had ever gone on so, off we went.   Everyone jumped right into to the adventure.

I took them through some trees on the back side that brought about some navigating in debri. There we found bird eggs, bones and poop to decifer.  Then we went through more ‘rugged’ terrain only to find ourselves out again in the sunlight under the blue sky and on another trail!

Where should we go?  well, the great wild Fennel forest was calling us I truly felt so in we went………. The ground was crunchy as we walked upon the fallen and lifeless last years Fennel crop.  The Coyote bushes would barr our path at times only to open up again and then there was the great and aging Mugwort grove where gathering old Mugwort was a wonderful thing to do for future fire starting material.  Bodie was not too keen on this adventure as he didn’t like the struggle with all this plant life in his face!  However, Alexi, Lucy , who were right behind me were having quite the fun time of it .  Giulio and Audrey brought up the rear and found more egg and nest treasures that most of us missed.  And then, we did it again, we found our selves out into the wide open spaces.  There were great questions during this adventure of “Where are we? Where are we going?”  So, we reoriented and carried on ahead to a great bridge where underneath water flowed and two odd downward spiraling circles of water presented themselves.  What could it be?  We starred at the water, the birds, this spiraling wonder for quite a time and then moved on.

When we got to the ranger station, where the great and mighty stick walk that ended in the place where Brother Sister Wind sometimes come and make mischief, we discovered that Jasper did not have his backpack on.  Well, we figured we knew where it probably was so we decided to go get it on our way back.  Then off we went.  At the end of this long walk way, out on the baylands is a place where you can look out onto the bay and see the tides work, sometimes in sometimes not.  It was very much out today and there was lot’s of mud and tracks and garbage! to be seen.  The Wind children were very quiet too so we couldn’t play with them.    What I am always amazed about this place is that in the middle are some bench type seating.  No matter what, everytime I bring children here they like to lay down and just be here.  They wind up playing hide and go seek or animals in their houses here by lying down on the wooden boards or underneath the special benches. It is very fascinating to me.  The children today, layed on the benches or layed on the ground and just laid there as if they were just allowing themselves to rest.  A very organic looking moment of bodily intelligence.    Now when I laid down it appeared, unbeknownst to me, that that meant POUNCE on Wendolyn, and so a rousing game of pouncing commenced.   Finally the joy of this place passed and on to new adventures came about.

I am looking at how many words have been written and it is much more then usual so, I will cut the rest of the description of the day to a minimum and   say, there was finding Jaspers backpack, backtracking through the Fennel forest to see what Audrey found, discovering pickleweed plant and trying it, finding rabbit tracks and the difference between geese and swans.

Giulio came with much joyful and happy energy, Bodie was just alive and smiling all day, Paul has one of the best sense of humors and it was very much alive, Jasper was happy, playful and full of interest, Lucy was smiling, and filled with wrestling energy, and Alexi loved looking at the Sandpipers and enjoying the adventures of the day.

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