Tag Archive for: Marin 4-year-old 2011-2012

Waning Moon- two days before New Moon
Samuel P. Taylor

The day was gray with sweet winds blowing early on as we watched the leaves fall like rain on a gentle glide down to Earth.
The children’s weather began very cloudy and disjointed.  Benny started with being very upset about thinking that he did not have  something that he wanted.  Anna went to look for it with no success and suggested it might be in his backpack.  As I buckled the other children up I offered that he go through his entire backpack to see if it was there.  Oh blessings for sweet gifts, He found it!  Tears retreated like dark clouds being sent away with strong warm sunlit rays.  I go back even further to the very beginning of the day when Lenny came to the bus and did not have his backpack. He was not to pleased about this and less delighted to borrow a Tender Tracks backpack. He wanted his own!  Yet, he was willing, somewhat, to allow his food and such to go into it.   There was some unhappinesses from Lenny towards Sidona as we drove and they both were insistent that they were right about certain things. Lenny said his birthday was around Christmas and that that was the BEST time to have a birthday with wonderful reasons.   Sidona said that that was wrong and it was the WORST time to have a birthday for very wonderful reasons.  I presented that they were both right, for each one of them had their own likes and dislikes.  This quelled it all for a bit.

When we got there they all scattered to this one tree accept Bodi who was in the bus with me and slowly getting ready to go out. His parents said he might be a little tired today and indeed he was, the entire time.  His bright spirit was there but his energy was not.  He stayed put mostly and just at times ran around with the others but petered out rather quickly each time and stayed quiet mostly.  Simone was just alive and vibrant though the entire day and Leo and Sidona sat inside this beautiful Redwood Tree eating together for a very long time.  Leo too was a bit quieter then usual today accept on the bus ride back he and Lenny throughly enjoyed hitting each other with their stuffies.  They reminded me very much of young Celtic Warrior boys loving battling with each other.  Even when they hurt each other they wanted to “play” more and more.  I did though ask them to stop as it was getting a bit more then seemed appropriate for the ride.  They did fairly willingly and were still quite happy with each other.

I did start the day with our songs and a special story that I only tell at Thanksgiving time.   They were all quite present for that one. Yet they remained in a disconnected state for awhile.  Benny and Lenny were only wanting to have all the trees for themselves and a big fighting about it.  I finally brought them into a choice place of how we can all be together and boom, the change began to take place.

It seemed like they all needed to unfold in their own timing so I came in and out playing games with some here and there yet allowed their own spirits to find their way with as little interference as I could, accept when there were true discords.  I then brought out the soap root.  I needed some to get water in the bucket from the creek. Bodi, Lenny and Benny went down to get the water.  Bodi and Simone had fun at first washing with the soap root.  One by one the others came by to wash with this very fun root and then off they went.  I then asked them to gather straight sticks about the size of their thumb so I could make them paintbrushes.  They all liked these very much.   Sidona and Simone stayed with me a lot while I did this and then I suggested that they all go down to the creek to find rocks for painting.  This is where the group unity finally kicked in.  They were all down there searching for rocks and trying to make paint.

When I walked over from the spot I was in there was Benny up to his knees in the water and very happy about it.  Bodi was sitting on a log, Lenny found a stick that he really liked that then Benny really wanted.  Simone, Sidona and Leo were really trying to find rocks that they could make paint out of and I started to mash one rock up.  The rest then came in to try to do the same.

We only had a little time after this. I gave several time calls in hopes that this would ease the transition and, wow, they are getting very skilled at coming when called, putting their belongs together and getting on the bus.  Once we were driving the interactions with Lenny and Leo happened.  All the children were engaged with this yet it was getting a bit loud so I curtailed it a bit by telling them two stories that they wanted to hear.  They often ask for The Boy Who Cried Wolf and then I told the story from today that they requested to hear again. “We can’t remember it all. Tell us again.”

At the beginning of our time together it was not all that delightful with this unpleasant disconnect and , by the time we left there was a great sense of connection, support and a really nice group feeling. What a contrast and how wonderful to feel such transformation, for us all.  A Happy thanksgiving moment. And their thank you’s at the end of the day were all very rich and each one wanted to share.

Waning Moon
Sorich Ranch

Leo was home sick today.
This was just a beautiful day and I came home so very happy.   The children began the day quite quiet. I think still acclimating one to the other.  However, it did not take long for them to settle in.  When we got to the ranch, not five minutes away, they got out and went straight to this BEAUTIFUL rock to climb on and eat on.   They explored it, climbed it, fell on it, got up on it and finally found places to eat on it yet their curiosity and joy over this rock enticed them to jump up often and continue playing all around and upon it.  We did manage to sing our songs and hear the story of the day: The TRUE story of Humpty Dumpty and How to Keep the Earth Beautiful and Whole.  This is a story that I learned from Tony Ten Fingers,  a Lakota Sioux from the Pine Ridge reservation.  It is all about gratitude and giving thanks “even on the darkest and gloomiest of days, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.”  This is a story I was given permission to tell and I always tell it at this time of year, Thanksgiving time.

After all of that there was some peeing to take place which was at the bottom of the rock which led us into a Redwood Grove where some Fig trees and Elderberry trees were. Great for climbing.   Lenny, Benny and Bodhi were having fun hitting these trees with their sticks because they “wanted to get some of the bark.” Why I don’t know but they did.  The girls were very busy enjoying the small amount of fresh fennel that they found along with some Lizards.   The intention of the day was to find the swings as well as some Soap root plants.  Sidona was delighted that she knew all about Soap Root plants and her knowledge definetly came in handy on this day.

However, going on this adventure was not so straight forward as there were too many trees to climb along the way, too much wood to gather from the  Old Fig tree that we found  and much fun along the way.  When we found the trail towards the swings we then found some soap root in the ground.  They all worked together taking turns digging and digging to get these bulbs out.  What was my surprise when the bulbs were SOOOO TEENY!!!! yet the husks were prolific!  We gathered a few more along the way working together and then we got to the top of the mountain and all were filled with awe as we looked over to the Mountains infront of us and felt the sweet and cool gentle winds blowing on us but then…… WE FOUND THE SWINGS!!!!!!!   They spoke much about who was going to go first and in the end they actually did share quite well.   This group however is very clear about the difference of girls and boys. There is a fair amount of separation their games so some negotiating took place. Mainly when it came to the cardboard that they found which they then used to slide down the grassey slopes.  There was also a big rock here and I was told that Benny said that he could see China and even Spain!!!

There were two times where digging holes for poop took place. Once for Benny and once for Lenny.  With Lenny we found great Bay nuts to be gathered along with Buckeyes and then some Galls that we will use at some point for making a mordant to dye capes that we will eventually make.

One of my favorite lines today was when Sidona was swinging and she said how much she loved “feeling the wind on her cheeks” while being swung on the swing.  Later I said she loved feeling the wind on her face and she very quickly corrected me, “cheeks!” not face.

At first Sidona and Lenny were less interested in being next to or playing with Benny because of last week with him hurting/kicking Simone.  However, when that was addressed and feelings allowed to come out, all seemed to subside for the most part.  Lenny spent time playing with Benny and he appeared to drop that.  Sidona is less drawn to boys in general so this was actually not an unusual response to Benny or any other boy.  Although she responds to Lenny somewhat favorably albeit through playful bantering over who is right over one thing or another.  He seems to take it in his stride.  (Please laugh here. My written discriptions do not do justice to the conversations that I am trying to convey I am sorry to report!)

Bodhi was happily exploring the day with the boys, the swings, the soap roots and being so involved with his most beautiful and elaborate world of Tigers and their families.  He brought the boys into really feeling their claws in order to find a way to get the Lizards for  ‘their Tiger families.’  Simone was her most incredible self as she scaled these big boulders and swang on the swings.  Lenny was happy playing, pretend chopping, finding and gathering plants and dead wood and Benny was able to enjoy his day far more and, I made sure that I gave sufficient warning before we left all the fun so that the transition was a bit easier for him today. And, all went well!!!

It was a lovely, warm day. The children were so beautiful to watch as they immediately immersed themselves into their surroundings, exploring, learning, finding, discovering, sharing, and figuring out how to be together.   Another day of thanks I have for sharing and being with your treasures.

Day before Full Moon
Lake Lagunitas

This was a very wonderful first day of our new group.  Lenny and Bodi  are joining and the time of day is extended for the others.  We started the day with seeing who knew who and opening up to the newness of the day and each other.  There was beautiful inclusion throughout the day, mainly the boys one to the other.  Simone and Sidona took a bit of a step back then there more usual expressions and stayed closer to me.  The boys have clear distinctions between boys and girls and actually, so do the girls. Well, maybe more Benny, Leo, and Sidona.  Not that unusual at this age.  Bodhi was very happy to run with the boys and maybe quite happy that they were all playing a game that he loved so much TIGER.  But I step ahead too quickly here.

After introductions and taking some time just to be where we were, they all got stuffed animals and off we went.  When we got to the Lakes Lenny went straight to gathering sticks for future fires.  These kids REALLY are up for fire and, the ones from the past 8 weeks are truly looking forward to more, making of Popcorn, on the open fire!!!  When I first met Lenny I was telling him about all the stick gathering that needs to be done before the rains come and he is on it!!

We found a place to eat our lunch, sing our songs and hear the story for the day but Leo wanted more sun.  He didn’t want to put his coat on all day but rather just find the Sun.  So, we moved a bit into a beautiful area with Sun shining nicely upon us.  There they ate, we sang and I told a story that I tell for the beginning of all new things, How Stories Came to Be.  If you have my CD it is on there.
Much running about happened and then Sidona had to go poop. So, we all left our things where they were and made an adventure back to the bathrooms, ( not too far away).  She went poop and the rest of them had fun running all around the bathroom house in many different directions.  Then, back to the food, packing up and making our way to a new adventure.

I wanted to take them to the area on the loop trail where the bridge, lake and little creeklet meet.  We ran and played all the way there looking at different beautiful leaves and finding some old familar ‘”stomping grounds” yet kept going until, we made it there.

What fun as we first discovered some beautiful mushrooms by Bodhi and Leo.  Leo really wanted me to see them so I came back with him. Then we gently picked a few and felt them, smelt them,explored them and then went to go use them to make a Fairy house.   As we were making a Fairy house Leo and Benny really wanted to stomp it down yet really showed great self control with not doing so as I then redirected them towards stomping some other things.

Bodhi began his most magnificent Tiger growl while the others were on top of a big Redwood stump.  One by one they joined in the Tiger game which led to pursuing me, and taking them away from the building and stomping of the Fairy house!  The rest of the day was filled with chasing, laughing, climbing, me pulling them to different areas of where we were, having to navigate over logs, water, hills, big stumps and the like.  Simone ALWAYS impresses me with her methodical yet great tenacity to go to places that are not initially easy for her but she runs, jumps, climbs and says “Wait for me!” as she follows this rambunctious group.

There were several times where Leo and Benny got a little rough with me and Lenny beginning to follow along but when I laughed and would say ” Stop, a bit to rough for me” they did immediately.   Sidona was more observing today yet involved with the mushrooms and building, Simone went in and out of climbing, chasing and building, Bodhi was in his Tiger world and in the world of the other boys, Lenny loved gathering sticks and playing with everyone.  Leo was just having fun chasing, climbing, exploring and finding very wonderful mushrooms and Benny was so happy where we were he said “Can we come here EVERY TIME!!!”  He also did not want to leave and after that struggled and began having a hard time with others.

By the time we got back to the bus he was a bit unkind with Simone, we had a group “conflict resolution” moment and then  I stayed with him while the others got in the bus.  It seemed that being in his car seat and a bit away from the others aided him in finding some rest from his deep upset to leaving his great fun and excitment.

On the way back Sidona was filled with stories as she and Simone play so well with their stuffed animals together.  The others seemed to be mostly watching with great interest.