Palo Alto Tender Tracks Wed. March 26, 2014 Day 26

Waning Crescent Moon
Eleanor Pardee Park

Anissa was gone on holiday yet everyone else came suited up for the RAIN!  Bosch and I were getting the canopy set up and the camp chairs put out when the children came and so our day began.   We all checked to see if we had everything to make a fire, for the popcorn we planned to eat.  They named all the things we would need and off we went, one by one with each part needed to get to our Popcorn.
They focused on the making of the fire, helping put sticks in, smelling the scent of flames and hiding their eyes from the smoke.  They watched how the fire changed shape, color and size, how and when the smoke diminished and  when it returned.   When the pot of popcorn was put on there was listening for the grand music of the corn. But, did it sound the same as the rain that was pouring down on and off over our heads?  We encouraged them to listen to the many sounds around us. However, Emme and Natalie were having, I do think you could call it, a “Sing off.”  Both of them REALLY were into singing the songs that they loved and were not so interested in listening to each others songs.   Nareya had her FAVORITE rain song, “Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” from the sound of music.    A good amount of singers in this group.
Aurora however really likes and wanted stories at lunch time so I told a story about Why our Food Doesn’t Come from the Sky Any more.  ( This story comes from an old African tale about when the people did not respect the food they were given and wound up having to grow all their own food instead of having it come down from the sky to eat any time and all that they wanted.) This story arose from Nareya and Emme pretending that their cucumbers were their tongues. I asked where Cucumbers come from. Natalie said “Your Moms” and I launced into the story.  After the story Aurora said “Another story!”  So, today there were quite a few stories that were all linked to what was going on in the moment.  At the fire I told a story about How Music Came to Be and this was inspired by Emme and Natalies Sing off.  It got them still and after that we began listening to the many sounds around us.
They wanted more popcorn so, more fire wood placed on by each one of them,rack on the barbecue pit , oil in the pot, children putting popcorn in the pot, pot over the fire and……POP, Pop, POP, POPPPPPPPPPP until we had the finest popped popcorn.
After all of this eating and popping finally the traditional, Tender Tracks Fire Soup!  They each went in search of water in puddles and then found the water faucet.  They put water in their bowls, then we all at once put the water in the burning embers and listened to the music it makes. From there, more water, stirring and making the soup.   Then there was the scattering of the soup.
We wound up running around on the lawn a lot and then I led a lot of them over to the garden. There we ate Fennel and washed our hands with Ceanothous flowers.  Earlier we ate Mallow and Dandelion greens: Eating Better Bitters is Better for your Body!  Nareya did not like the taste of the Dandelions.  We found Plantain on the lawn too. No one had a cut or a bee sting so we didn’t need to use it for it’s medicinal gifts.    I heard that Bosch, Auroa, Emme , and the boys were all doing some sort of play while Dahlia and  Nareya were looking for things that “I lost” and that were camoflauged/hidden under the leaf litter.   They had so much fun trying to find this that they called the others over to play the game.
The Sun and Rain played and danced with each other all day so that it really was a Sunny day, cloudy day, rainy day, sunny day, cloudy day, rainy day on and on.
We wound up packing things up, playing games and oh yes, the really fun part was finding a dead Squirrel that someone had propped up on the Laying Down Tree. The children really loved exploring this creature and noticing as much as they could about it.
This was a fun, and exciting day today: Fire, Rain, Earth, Air, Singing, Stories, Eating Plants, Giving Thanks for all that made our Popcorn possible, Birds, Play, Laughter, Flowers, Games…..

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