Waning Gibbeous Moon
Roy’s Redwood

What a very fun day.  It began with a lot of figuring out what warm clothes of Tender Tracks to wear,or not, as was Sidona’s case, and what mittens would be most desired.   There was a great deal of wanting just the right mittens and a willingness to go without if they were not just right.  All found acceptability though accept Sidona so, she chose not to have any and was just fine.  So, you might ask, “Why mittens? It wasn’t really that cold on this day in San Anselmo.” But alas, at Roy’s redwood’s IT WAS cold enough to enjoy a pair of mittens.

After eating lunch and joyfully singing our songs, I directed them toward a different path to take for our days adventure.  There on the ground was a path of “powder” to follow and off they went to follow.  Simone was far more able and willing to enjoy each spot we found inviting but the rest were OFFFFFFF and running following, following to find?  Well, at first they found scarves hanging in the trees to notice and to get, then there were different sections with fascinating fallen down trees and big, well HUGE trees to climb on or over and then we found ourselves right where we usually go.  But how did that happen?????

We didn’t figure that out much but rather immediately found a wonderful tree to sit on and be swung on.  I helped each child get up and then swung them up and down , up and down.  I left them to their own ways once they got the hang of it and they all four played together quite beautifully for awhile until Benny really wanted things to go his way and the other children were a bit displeased about that.  I came to support the negotitions and then the playing shifted.

Benny discovered another tree branch, Leo stayed at this one and the girls went about trying to find the “bird”( me) that they kept hearing. I was playing a little game of ‘can you find the sound’.   There was a great game of chase that came about after this.  I found many wonderful trees to hide in and then Simone was really the only one that kept finding  where I was hiding.  Then the others would find me from her glances, I would jump out and off we would run and run until, we found some very fun things on the ground.

Sedona loves “fungus” and brought everyones attention to the many wonderful fungi that were all around.  While she was playing with that I was teaching them honorable hunting.  We pretended to stalk, choose, shoot and kill a deer for the people, using every part of it, giving thanks and honor for the gift of this food and on and on in a way of respect and gentleness.  They then played that game over and over and we cooked it and “fed the people.”

There was playing and eating for the rest of the day and going was not so readily wanted. But alas we must and I steered us toward going back the same way in order to follow the trail backwards.   They did and, we made it!!!!

All the beginning of tracking, noticing, observing, cooperating, following, leading, and, as always, so much more.

My heart was warmed to see them all playing and working together during the day.

Full Moon
Roy’s Redwood

The sun was warm, the ground wet from past rains, spiders and webs all over and such ease and fun was present.

The children now know the routine and came joyfully ready to play and explore.  Sidona remembers the first two times when they had to find things and is wondering why they didn’t do that today.  Benny really loved the fire and cooking popcorn and would have gladly had us do that again.  Simone went right to scrapping coal off of the Redwood tree and painted my face and Leo had his priorities in order when we first got there; eat then play!    I told them a story about how to collect wood and off they went gathering, with the buckets that I brought. Sidona led the way up a very large Bay tree.  Benny tried to follow but Sidona is by far more skilled then any of them with climbing trees.  Leo doesn’t seem to be concerned with that but Benny, he would like to climb as high as she does.  Simone was just delighted with climbing over logs and balancing on a see saw type of apparatus I made with a big dead log.

I took some of the Bay tree young shoots and made some crowns.  They all wanted them, accept Leo, and only Simone stayed with wearing it.  Maybe because of her beautiful thick curls make wearing branches on ones head more comfortable!

But oh yes, to lead us to our usual spot there was a trail of “powder”, they called it.  Only this time it took them there a different route. On the way we found some acorns and other unexpected treasures.  Simone kept saying a Poison Oak rhyme that now for some reason I can not  remember! But, it’s something about, if it’s shiny leave your hiny? That’s not it, and I actually know this but I can’t remember it at the moment.  At any rate, she was saying this all day and trying to remember what Poison Oak looks like.  I spent some time with her as she did wind up picking a beautiful red leaf!!!!  I washed her hand straight away with what I have that can take the oils off and then she and I really looked at the Poison Oak leaves and the Berry leaves, comparing, contrasting and learning.  The plants  have some things in common. ” Leaves of three let it be. If it’s harry it’s a berry.”

Your children are such great explorers and they really know how to play.  Sounds funny to say buy not all children do.  In this exploring and playing we discovered Fairy houses made from Mushrooms, many different kinds of mushrooms, shelters to hide in, sticks to be peeled and used in many different ways, different trails, logs to balance on like See- Saws and expanding our circle of exploration.  I wound up telling several stories and Simone would have loved them to go on and on.

Leo appeared quite content playing and playing with Benny.  At the end of the day though they got upset with each other yet excerted great self control.  It turned out that Leo thought Ben was laughing at him when he felt sad so he threw some wood dust on him.  Then Ben picked up a stick and “…wanted to hit him with it” but did not.

Leo stayed present to work this out but did not want to get close to Benny after this for a time until they got back in the bus, or half way back to  the bus.

Also, they all really like the halloween songs that we have been singing.  You can listen to two of them that I have been sharing with them on the blog titled, Song and Story of the Month.  One song is where they count with their fingers and they all seem to like that, it is called Five little Pumpkins Sittin on the Gate.  The other one starts out with, Five little witches flying thru the Air.  All have hand movements and the children seem to find this very fun.

The day was creative, explorative, physically active, a time of settling, flowing easefully in to time and space and imaginations alive and healthy.

Waxing Gibbeous Moon
Samuel P. Taylor Park

The children came with enthusiasm and energy to play.  We sat down at the base of a beautiful Redwood tree and sang our welcoming song as well as some Halloween nature songs to call in this beautiful and fun time of year.

The weather was a bit foreboding but never rained on us the entire day and I was thinking we would explore instead of make a fire if no rain was to come. However,  the children had heard about making popcorn over a fire so,why not?!!!!!   The sky was threatening enough so, I got out the materials that they had gathered for fire starter, dried wood from Roy’s Redwood, and then they proceeded to find little sticks from a dry area.  Earlier they had found the one spot that was dry, inside a Redwood tree. There they gathered and gathered little sticks for the fire.   We worked together to get the driest wood in order to attempt to make a one match fire.

If you are ever lost and only have so many matches, knowing your materials, how to find dry materials and then how to make a one match fire, can save you and give you warmth.  So, we carried on with the gathering and building and readying of the fire, lit the match, put it in and YEAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! a one match fire!!!   Benny was REALLY happy about this and jumping for joy.

We put the oil in the pot, they put the popcorn in, we put the pot on the fire and waited for the first pop.  Well, we waited, and waited and waited and it wasn’t really coming so, we needed to build the fire up bigger. The children gathered again, we built it up, gathered again, we built it up, gathered again we built up and then……… Fire and poppppppiiiiiinnnnnnngggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The popcorn was made, they thought butter should be on it and luckily I had some, salt was added and the eating began.

Sidona said it was the” best popcorn…” she has ever had.  There really is nothing like cooking on an open fire and making it all happen together.   Simone though, thought that the other children got more popcorn then her and she and I did some reflecting on how that might have happened.  I then invited her to always share her great ideas on how the whole group can get what they need and that I will help her with this.  So, something to work with.

After our wonderful time with the fire and the gift of corn,  we cleaned up, used the bathroom, found an amazing banana slug, got in the bus, found stuffies and made our way back.

The group feels like it has settled into this routine of getting together and exploring this beautiful earth.  We all continue to learn about each other, how to flow together and how to take the beauty of Earth and Sky in together.
What a gift!