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New Moon
Lake Lagunitas

The raging wind and rain from last night left and  our day began with soft drizzles that moved into refreshing air and blessings of water all around from skies waters.    Bodhi came a little late and right before he came Purnat said “Where’s Bodhi?  We can’t leave without Bodhi!”  As we were about to call, there he was coming into the bus and happy we all were.  They got buckled up, we sang some winter rain songs that they laughed at and off we went.  I pointed out many things as we made our way up the road to the Lakes.  When we got there I asked if they would like to build a fire and make popcorn:”YES!” unanimously they cried.  But first, we needed to check the area for where the best fire pit was.  The waters were roaring with great sound and beauty from the creek near us so we checked that out as well.  Such beauty surrounded us with a chorus of glorious music of water, wind and rustling of trees.  As we explored and stood in awe in front of the waterfall Purnat needed to pee so off we went to the bathrooms but first, there was the Concrete river to cross. We stood so still to make sure that that no “Metal Monsters” were making there way.  We wanted to stay as beautiful as we were right then.  When all was clear we RANNNN over the river to the bathrooms.  Purnat looked at the one bathroom and did NOT want to go in there.  Bodhi and Aero found the “forest” right near there  and they were delighted to play in there while Purnat checked out this other bathroom.  It was good and so pee he did.  Aero found a very large branch that he loved and carried it about like a banner while Bodhi found a smaller stick.
We made our way back over the Concrete river and checked out a closer place for a fire pit. We found it and then went back to the bus to get all that we needed. Everybody did their part to bring all the wood, kindling, pots and popcorn to the fire pit.  When we got there we set it all up and began first to make our nest for the baby fire children to eat with ease. Then we took twigs and covered that then the big sticks.  Purnat was the most participatory and LOVED, breaking the sticks, putting material into the nest and the rest of the time tending the fire.  The others were fully involved but Purnat, he REALLY  loved it!  Bodhi was excited because this was our first Tender Tracks fire together.   They all helped put the popcorn in and then we waited and listened until we heared the pop, pop, pop, pop, pop………..and saw the pan flowing over!!!  Bodhi ate about 6 camp cups and then later his lunch!  Aero, ate about 4 cups and Purnate three.  They fed the fire, they watched what they did in the fire.  They put wet leaves in to see what would happen and they fed the fire more and more.  There was a lot of gazing, noticing and watching the changes of the fire.  Then, when all the wood was gone,(Purnat would have had the fire all day but Aero was ready to go on an adventure) I filled the popcorn pan with water from the creek and they took their cups and put the fire out, all the while listening to the wonderful sounds of sizzling and softening.

Aero began the adventure and there was much instructions about checking in where you are going and where you want to go because we are a group and we stay together and/or let each other know where we want to go.  Three quarters of the way through the day he GOT IT!!!  He came right up to me and let me know where he was going and the others too.This made it possible for all of us to make decisions around each persons desires.  We stayed in that little area the whole time and there was great exploring.

Shortly after the fire Purnat and Bodhi wanted to eat there  lunch and then along came grinding charcoal and painting our faces.  There was building of Fairy houses, and finding a “castle” said Aero.  There was digging of holes and finding the best tools for grinding charcoal and exploring the magnificent waterfall!!!  We found rotten logs that are great for fire starter if you can dig deep enough when it rains to find the dry parts and there were things to be built and bugs to be found.  And oh yes, when we first arrived we were greated by a beautiful green leaf bug that was on Aero’s hand but flew away.

The day had a gentle and soft tone with easeful explorations.  We found great branches that had broken off that were wonderful for brooms. Aero liked sweeping with it and Bodhi was hard to pull away at the end of the day from some great creation he was making with the old log we found.

On the ride back I told them old camp stories of mine that they kept asking for, “More, More, tell another one, another one.”

Waxing Crescent Moon
John and Peggy’s Nicassio Land

I wish to start this journal out first off with so much gratitude.  These three boys are so precious. Each in their own way and all together as well.  Each one of them have such beautiful smiles, bright eyes and tender innocence.  It is such a pleasure to bring them out to the Earth to discover the wonders that are theirs for the taking.  Then, I have such deep gratitude for this land that we are allowed and INVITED to come play upon.  John was there, the children got to meet him and his own great smile was yet another gift of the day.  Then, well then there was the glorious Sun, blue sky and on our way there seeing a beautiful PIG!!  I have yet to see pigs out here in Marin so that was such a joy.  Then there were all the amazing birds but, I will stop here and begin now sharing more details of the day with your children.

When we got to the land we got out and I wanted to share some snack with them of apples that they would peel with this very fun peeler that they have to crank and some walnuts. So they each did that and it was quite fun. Then I told them a story that did not seem to really catch their inner world.  I asked at one point if they wanted to hear the rest of it, as John came to greet us in the middle, and they said yes. And that was that.   It had a connection to the apples but, ah well, I am not always on the mark!!!

Before we left the bus they each got a bucket so that they could gather Cattail down in order to make a pillow just for themselves.  Well, they liked this idea very much and then off we went.   As we were walking along the trail a huge flock of birds flew in the sky.  “I wonder what made them fly out of the bushes?” I asked.  And then, Crows started crowing nearby and then two Crow’s came to land on a wire, then four, then, there were so many we couldn’t count.  They were crowing and making a great deal of noise.  Were these two occurences connected?  We stood in one place watching, noticing, seeing, considering and then finally moved on but wait, there was some great Bird scat right on a rock near us. So, we explored that and then, moved on. So many things such as these along our way.  I suggested that Bodhi guide us to the Cattails once we reached a certain part and off he went.  However, Purnat was enjoying being first and was less keen on Bodhi stepping in front of him.  He did not make too much of a complaint over this though and off we went down the trail.  Bodhi and Aero went off ahead and I then helped Purnat get past some shrubs that he was concerned about.  At that point we were down below right in front of a very large a beautiful lake.   We found Bodhi and Aero and started our Cattail harvesting.

They all just plopped right down putting their buckets on this stump that was somehow on the lakes shore and there they stayed for quite some time having fun taking the Cattail “babies” off of the stalk and putting them into their buckets.  Cattail down was EVERYWHERE and Aero was quite funny when he got some in his mouth and face.  He was not bothered, he just got to business spitting and wiping these little teeny seeds off of his face.

Purnat got curious about this black stuff that was on the ground that was either old Cow dung, dried up black fungus or ?  He thought for sure it was “ca ca/poop” and became very interested in it.  That was one of his themes for the day, poop. He wound up finding goose poop,and got out  a plastic bag from his back pack and put it all in there to take home.   He gathered a lot of the black stuff but it really was a bit too big for us to take home.  After hearing what you tell him Bryce about using poop for fire starter I think I understand a bit more his desire to gather!   Bodhi and Aero were REALLY happy going thru the very tall Cattail forest and hiding, rustling and seeing if we could find them.  I joined them after awhile and it was FUN!  Purnat had to listen to where we were and his eyes really focused on seeing us. When he did he yelled with excitement”I see you!!” and out we popped.  Later Purnat and I were outside the forest and they were playing the game again and we snuck up on them as if they were animals hidding in the bushes.  Much fun.

We played by the waters edge and Bodhi remembered throwing rocks in the water with the Wednesday group.  Aero joined with that but Purnat and I were looking under rocks and finding rock treasures.  I went to the water and showed them how the water talks with one another like a telephone:  throw a rock in and you can see the rings they send out farther, farther, farther…..that’s how they talk to each other!!!

We all played with the different rocks and discovered so many kinds of colors.  Aero found a rock that he just said, “I found a shape!”  And, it really WAS a beautiful rectangle type of shape.  So unusual.

They all decided that they would like to stuff there pillows today instead of wait for next week so we went back early and did so.  I got the different choice pillows for them.  Each picked a different color and there they stuffed and stuffed.  Bodhi and Purnat chose to sew it when they got home and Aero decided to sew his with me next week.   There was a fine good bye and thank you giving before we drove off and then we had a pleasant ride back.

Waxing Gibbeous Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Well, I will never say what kind of a day the children have because, I can not speak for them, however, in my observation and personal experience, this was a wonder filled first day. The children were very open hearted  one to the other,as I suspected  would be the case. They are easy, kind, and playful.    Every moment was finding the adventure, awe, wonder and each others curiosity.  Not that each person’s curiosity could be completely followed, as, when with a group, there is this thing called, working together.  That’s where my job comes in, putting the pieces together to have some appearance of being a cohesive group traveling about the Earth taking in all the gifts as well as giving back.

As soon as we got there the adventure began with hearing the water, seeing some birds (Aero’s immediate observation) and checking these things out.   Purnat wanted to go and check out “the village.”  This is the wooden shelter that is right past the parking lot.  But, Bodhi was drawn to the water.  We went over there but Purnat still wanted to check out the village so he took his new friend Aero and they went over there with the invitation to bring back tales of what they discovered.  Bodhi had the same invitation.   He quite soon found ” something tied onto a root!” and Purnat and Aero found a very special leaf.   I asked Bodhi what he thought it was on the root, what it felt like, what color it was and he dove deeper into the exploration of what this thing was.  Purnat shared the journey he and Aero had, ” we kept saying, no this is my house, no my house, no my house” with a lot of easeful smiling with the telling.   He really wanted to take the leaf home to his Mom yet Aero found it and wanted it so, we went to go see where this leaf actually came from and then Purnat COULD take one home.  We looked at all the trees much more closely all around us until we found a tree with leaves that looked very similar and were all on the ground below it.   But then, where was Aero?  Purnat spied him and then off the rest of us went to find the wonderful place he found:  A Big Redwood Tree that could be climbed.

Somewhere around here it became time to eat.  They went to the benches in the “village” and there they ate and I told them a story of why certain trees are Ever Green and why some animals stay awake all night.   We found a long straight stick after this and earlier found part of a bird carcass with feathers on it.  On the stick I tied some of the feathers and this will be our counting stick, weather/wind determiner and Moon marking stick each day that we get together.

We climbed daringly on the wood bridge up the stairs, discovered mint plants and chickweed plants to eat.  The Bullfrogs really did appear to be sleeping  in their mud beds for the winter and the Cattails were hard to dig up and eat.   Aero became an Owl hooting a good portion of the day, Bodhi was his forever lovely Tiger and Purnat was a wonderful Lion.  Of course, sometimes we all were birds flying or running or morphing into one animal or another but these, were the main characters of the day.

Bodhi likes and wanted to go on more traveling adventures, Aero liked, mainly but not always, to explore in one place and Purnate liked to explore close to me.   There was all of these adventures happening and sharing of spaces and places.    We found a very inviting spot underneath some Doug Fir trees and there we found some wonders, MUSHROOMS!  Bodhi said he was scared of them so we spent a lot of time checking them out.  We then tried to be really quiet so when people came by we could see them and they couldn’t see us but Aero was much too involved with being a hooting Owl and, due to the wonderfully developed ears of all the passers by, they figured out where we were!!!

At the end of the day we played a very fun game of: Coyote and Rabbit.  I was the rabbit that they were chasing to bec0me Coyotes dinner. Oh dear, I, the great rabbit that I was, ran and ran and ran and darted but finally, they caught me and I was eaten up with wonderful joy!!! How interesting it was to be in the belly of such wonderful Coyotes!!!!!   They then chased me all the way back to the bus where we sang our good-byes, shared stories of the day and gave our thank you’s of the day.

What a joyful first day. I thank you very much.