Palo Alto Tender Tracks Day 42, March 13, 2012

Last quarter Moon
Foothill Park-backside

Alexi was absent today.

What a way to come back from break, right where we left off, lot’s of rain. However, today everyone was far more prepared for this and……… we were not walking in it all day!  In the morning we stayed at Eleanor Pardee and even sat on our mats while we made a fire so the rain really was not all that much.  It wasn’t until we went to Foothill Park that we got more rain.

At the beginning of the day I gave over the making of the fire to the children to see what they remember about how to put the fire together.  Lucy was the leader in this and went straight away to making a nest and Gracey helped her.  Then the two of them put the little sticks all around and one by one the other children came in to help.  They finally built it up and up and my favorite part of this was when they asked me if there needed to be a door. And yes, a “door” is needed so that you can put a match in.  They remembered!!!

Jasper was really excited about getting just the right stick in order to put the grate on when the fire settles down.  Giulio really liked putting the butter in the pot and Lucy liked pouring the popcorn in the measuring cup.  Each one took the parts that they wanted. Kashi really remembered the song that we sing and I told them a story that I just learned this past week about that song. So I told the story, we began to sing and I lit the fire.  It was a two match fire not one, ah well, but still, it flamed up and was beautiful.  There was much problem solving around how to be safe around the fire and what is the safest way to put sticks in the fire.

Jasper finally put the grate on and then more group problem solving around safety with sticks in, near and around the fire came about.  Then, the pot went on, the popcorn in and it didn’t take long for the popcorn to dance.  Bodie was probably the happiest about all this fire and popcorn making because he shouted with glee about it. And. when the corn started to pop, so did the children. They got out of their seats and did the honorary POPCORN DANCE!     I discovered that I didn’t have the salt but it turned out fine as the butter was salted enough and it was PERFECT!!!
They all ate with great delight as we sat around the beautiful fire and watched the dance of the flames.

When all was done there was much excitement about the traditional “soup” that happens. First they get their cups, then they go and get the water from the water faucet, if there aren’t any puddles which there weren’t, and then they pour the water in while the fire and liquid make a hissing musical song.  Then the sticks come out ,the stirring commences, and grand fun.

Jasper was REALLY into being Jason of Jason and the Argonauts so he and I had wonderful sword duels. But alas, he was too powerful and strong and I fell to his mightly sword!  But, arise I did again and became his fighting companion.  This game went on for quite sometime and on and off throughout the day.  He also was singing a song that he LOVED with full rock star gusto. At lunch he was so happy about it and wanted to share it with the children.  They said yes but, they changed their minds as it was, how do I describe it, kind of like a rocks star song with great deliberation and vibrato!.  He really wanted them to hear more because he said he wrote it and if they listened more they really might like it.   Kashi and Giulio really wanted to hear it so they packed their lunch up to go off with him and hear his full version that he was so proud of.  He was so beautifully open hearted with the rejection and delighted with the two that wanted to hear it.

After eating ALL the children were climbing on the Redwood tree that we were under and having such a good time.
Lucy really wanted to paint the rattles so I brought those out along with the red brick that they pounded into dust, their paint brushes that they made at the beginning of the year and, the beeswax crayons because, I LEFT THE OLIVES AT HOME THAT WE GATHERED TO PAINT WITH!!!!  I was sad about that and we found an alternative.  All  the children got into painting or drawing on their rattles and then went off to play.  Paul stayed the longest painting and swirling his paint brush in the red clay paint.  He went on and on painting with such abandon and joy.

I was playing with a few of the children when Lucy said she was cold so I suggested that we take a walk over to the Rangers Station and see the animals that were not alive but stuffed.  We asked the rest of the group that were climbing the tree if they wished to go with us and the whole group wanted to go. Off we went down the field and had such fun discovering Deer poop and clues to a mysterious something that at first looked like the skin of a snake but wasn’t.

Inside they were taken in by all the taxidermed animals and quite happy that they knew about so many of the displays of feathers, Oak gauls and cones on the table.  They were so repsectful and quiet towards the people that were in there that a teacher there wondered how we were able to keep them so well behaved?  They truly were amazing and so unified.

We had to go back so we made our way down the beautiful lawn to the bus, sang our good bye song, gave our thank you’s and off we went.   A beautiful, beautiful rainy alive, day.

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