Palo Alto Tender Tracks Tues. Feb. 5, 2013

Waning Crescent Moon
Day 39
Huddart Park

Kaden and Taz were not here today.
This was a gray sky mostly day with sweet fresh winds, the promise of spring to come and an aliveness in all.
Last Friday was Imbolc otherwise called Groundhogs day or MidWinter.  This is the time where the hope of spring rises and the days show signs of getting longer and longer.  Rains still come to aid the plants still sleeping under the earth yet are dreaming of waking up sooner then a month ago and the freezing colds often settle down.  We sang to King Winter yet learned that he might have to go away soon as the strength of Spring will call forth it’s time upon the Earth.
The ride up we stopped several times to instill the rememberance of respect for each and everyone of us in the bus.  Meaning, take turns listening and know that the bus can be a more challenging place to be quietly heard like some might wish it to be.  It is time to call them forth to more of their inner strength in this area.  They were able to rally and off we went.
When we got to the park we got out and I brought snack out.  I promised them that I would make them my raspberry/lemon water and most drank it up and then ate the raspberries that sit at the bottom of bottle.    I told a couple of stories about the day when Sun was very young and got his feelings hurt and decided never to come out and shine on the people.  He thought nobody liked Him because when he shone so brightly everyone hid away or scrunched their faces up at Him.  They always smiled at the Moon and He felt hurt about that.  ( Beginning to see the reason for the tale?)  It was finally Rooster that sang him out of his hiding and that is why Rooster sings first thing in the morning ever since that day and Sun promised to always wake up and shine on the Earth and never leave again.   (And, don’t we all finally come out of hiding when we are coaxed out with love and a song of love?!) We celebrated the Sun and then off to play we went.
Jill and I worked together to either play with them or get all the things out that we needed to aid them in making a natural “sterno”/outdoor stove.  If you are not familar with what a Sterno can is go to this site:
Jill cut the cardboard that we used and we helped the children roll them up and put them in the cans.  I got the stove out,  Paul and Miu got water for the pot to then put the can with the wax in it to melt.  It took a long time to melt so the children re created the game that they played another time when we were there. DR.Gisselle brought her baby doll and ALice LOVED taking good care of  her a whole lot of the time and making her better.   They all made a magick potion in the water fountain with all manner of leaves and flowers. We can thank Jill for cleaning that out as best she could and next time I will get a bucket out for them to make a grand potion.
While all of this was happening I lit my sterno, like the one they were going to make. The winds were strong enough where we had to find a place to put it where it would not get blown out.  Alice and the girls went and found several rocks to put around it to protect it from the wind and we also put it in the barbecue pits there.  It worked.
The wax finally melted so we poured the wax in and they then were told they would have to wait for the wax to set, or get hard.  That was a bit challenging for Evan because he wanted it to work NOW!   All the wax was gone and we still had Gisselle and Aoife’s can’s that needed wax so, I took the beef bone marrow tallow that I had from making beef bone broth, we put it in the can and then placed that on the rocks.  The little sterno WORKED!!!  The tallow melted, very quickly I might add, and we were able to fill their cans up and even have  some left over for Jill.
Then I showed the children how to put out the sterno and then we felt how hot the rocks got.  I then showed them how to create hot water in their Potion/stew by putting the rocks in the water.  We got to feel how warm the water got from the hot rocks that we used NEXT to the fire, not in the fire!!!
After this Jill and I worked together to try our hand at making a hand drill fire.  Here is a  picture of what it looks like.

Hand Drill Spindle

We did our best but weren’t able to get a coal.  No worries though because the best part was when the children wanted to try.  Paul really got the hang of it better then any and he REALLY was liking this!!!!! Miu was excited with it as well as Emme.  Others tried but these three were really got involved and went for it.
I then took out my flint and steel and after several tries we DID make fire.  Yipppeeee!
This was a very, very exciting and fun day of fire and play.  There was a lot of group fun and playing together.

In the bus in the morning they decided that they liked the counting stick better then the counting ropes so we went back to that. However, they REALLY like the ropes for tying around their stuffed animals and playing games with them like that.
On the way back Jill read then many nature book stories, some known and some unknown, all the way back and they really liked that too.
What a glorious windy, gray, sunny, blue, gray and uplifting day.

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