Palo Alto Tender Tracks Dec. 13, 2012

Day after New Moon
Day  28
Foothill Park, the Island

Emme was still sick today along with Kaden and Taz was absent for other reasons.
This was the day where Evan got to choose where we explored for his birthday. He chose this place.  The day was a bit cool and gray yet clouds shifting and sky color changing so we continued to look up often throughout the day. It took awhile to get fully ready with clothes for the day.  They received special Christmas Grahm crackers for snack and stories later on at lunch.
Evan needed to decide which way to get to the Island: the long walk there or the short walk there. He decided to get there straight away and then we would take the long walk back so, that is exactly what we did.
The Island is truly one of the greatest places for on going Hide and Go Seek which in the nature/primitive skills/ wilderness world teachings, this is the time when  there is great opportunity to develop skills of silence, patience, strategic planning, stealth, problem solving, deeper nature connection,as you are sitting, laying or buried on the Earth, for quite a while being very quiet.  These games are great for team building, obersvation of plants that you  sit on or near or NOT!  Like Poison Oak.  While sitting still one often discovers the many animals, bugs and plants near by.  At this age it is very fun because often the group is hiding from the ones seeking.  This is what I call the collective Sit Spot.  A Sit Spot is that spot that you go to everyday in a natural setting to get more connected to nature.  Native children would begin this anywhere between 7 and 10 yrs old.
So, when we play Hide and Go seek for hours there is so much learning and growing and connecting going on.  And, that, is just what was happening.
We gathered more Toyon Berries, and listened to quite a few Holiday stories. I told two main stories today.  In this new format once storytelling starts often they like more tales to come. This is what I find so beneficial about this new style.
I told a very funny story about a Star Child that came down for whole day in order to have a “Real Christmas” with a grumpy old lady who never had anyone to celebrate with.  Then I told the Shoe Maker and the Elves.  This is a very traditional holiday story and they enjoyed it as well.
It seemed that our playing and running and counting and sitting still and running fast was needing a transition so, in perfect timing, we made our way to the long walk back.
We found so many wonderful mushrooms and holes that were really fungus type things in the side of the hills and holes that we didn’t know at all how or why they got there but they looked like something made them.  Audrey found some great bones that we checked out too.   EVan and Alice went through what they did last time on this trail, fighting to be the first one in front on the thin trail.   It was a day of giving Alice opportunities to either choose a fight or find other ways to get what she would like.  And for Evan, it was a day to continue to find other ways to communicate his needs.  So much work this socialization stuff yes?!!!
I wound up staying with Alice a lot and looking at all the wonders along the trail and Paul and Evan had the time of it running and running along the path.  The others were behind  with Audrey and finding their own amusements on this long and delightful trail.
Below is the Toyon Berries found on the Island.  To make the tea just gather the ripe red ones, rinse off and pour hot water over them. Let it sit for as long as you can, even over night.  The flavor is like cider, which is what the natives did with it and called it.  Can you identify this bird that comes in the winter and likes to eat them?


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