Palo Alto Tender Tracks Day 37, 2012

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.

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