Palo Alto Tender Tracks Day 56, April 26, 2012

Waxing Moon
Foothill Park-the long walk to the Island

Alexi and Laurie were home sick today.  We wished them speedy recovery.
Circle time they all chose to be there. I have cut the songs down to just two.  It is delightful to see how they sing this one very gentle song with words that go like this:Happiness runs in a circular motion, life is like a little boat upon the sea. You can have everything anyway, anyhow, you can have it all if you let yourself be. How come, because, How come, because. And then we repeat it all with flowing soft hand movements.  The point of this tender song, there are actually many, but one is to create internal calm and gentleness.  It seems to fulfill this intention.  We are also singing a finger play song about taking care of caterpillars so that they can turn into butterflies:  I’m a little caterpillar crawling about. If you see me on a tree please, please let me be.  I don’t wanna be poked or picked way up high. If you leave me I’ll come back as a butterfly.   The last movement of this song is with arms spread out and gently flapping like a butterfly.
They have had some Butterfly stories this past month and we have been finding lot’s of caterpillars and seeing butterflies.

After circle and clean up we packed up and made our way to the bus.  Lucy is still delighted with giving out the stuffies and learning the fine art of how to give them out in a timely manner.  At the moment I would say this is the most favored “job.”
When we got to Foothill Park the air was much,much colder then any of us expected so I got out all of the gloves and we bundled up. Then, off and up the trail to find our way we went. None of them seemed to remember this trail so all along we saw marvelous new wonders.

Anjalie and Paul did not understand the point of such a long trail and wanted to be at the destination more then the journey.   However, all along the way we saw the water down below and how the landscape changed.  One of my quiet intentions was for “mapping skills.”   We discovered the different plants that were growing along the trail and which Miner’s Lettuce would be good to eat.  The Poison Oak is rampant so we needed to be ever so vigilant and the Oak Tree’s Illness/ Sudden Oak Death, was visible all around.
When we got to the cross roads in the trail Jasper really wanted to go up and NOT go to the Island.  All the rest of the children wanted to go down.  What to do?  Right then a Man and a woman crossed paths.  The man told the woman, it seemed they knew each other, to take the trail going up.  I asked her what was up there and she said it went to a road.  Jasper then decided that going down was just fine.

Down, down, down they went.  No more water was visible through the trees until, there they saw something, WATER! I always like this part because what they see and think is water is really the road.  The process of discovery I always find delightful when they finally realize that the road can actually look like water from a distance.    When we got there half were quite hungry.  But where to go? Where WAS the Island now and when do we eat??!!!!   Gracey wound up taking the lead on this after much debate.  There was a trail right to our right but she was convinced that it would be too much of an up hill and very long trail to take so she wanted to go up the road and over the big hill.   All were fine following here . As we did this we then discovered that the sign on the grassy slope hill said something to the effect of , Don’t climb here. Habitat restoration.  What now?   She was very clear that if we just kept walking up the road we would get to…..?
We needed to walk single file for safety and they all got into line with ease and without one complaint or distraction from the course.   Then, low and behold, we came to a big meadow and the path was made clear!! Jasper and Grace were overtly delighted with knowing exactly where we were and where to go so off we went. There were two trails leading to the Island, higher and lower. They all took what they wished as they were parallel and visible one to the other and off we went.  They noticed how different things looked from this way of approaching the Island and then there was our well known bridge.  On up and over we went to settle into where we would eat!

The rest of the day was spent with playing on the Island in traditional style with repeating games with different twists.  This time Jasper had the restaurant not Kashi.   Anjalie, Grace and Lucy wanted me to make Sage brush crowns for some play that they never actually did share and Paul really wanted a crown too. His was most beautiful upon  his head as were the others!
They were all clear that they didn’t want to go back the long way which I was slightly surprised by. Maybe today they were just tired as we have walked longer and have walked this when they were still only three!
No matter, we only had time for the short walk and made it back with a lot of fun along the way.

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