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Waxing Crescent Moon
Car wash and Sorich

What a very fun last day.
The highlights:

• Washing the bus, lots of suds, lots of rags and washing with glee, happiness, involvement and fun. And, wow, the bus looked great and clean!!!

• Trade Blanket:  What a GREAT success! the children had so much fun and really stayed so very present and with the way in which the Trade Blanket works.  I believe my favorite part was when they finished the trade. This is where, when the exchange is made a handshake is given with “Nice Trade” spoken one to the other.  ALL of the children seemed to love this part and it was beautiful to see these young ones follow this way of respect one to the other.

• Visting the garden for the last time down the road and seeing the chickens and the incredible garden that has been really worked and prepared for the new season.

This was a day of completions, exchanges and on going social growth.

This is a very short journal due to much preparation for the last day and Fairfax Ecofest!!

See you all this coming Thursday for our big end of the year party!!!

Waning Crescent Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Just six children today and the warm sun to bring our bodies into ease and delight.

Michelle and I had different intentions originally for this day yet, as we watched the children’s interactions and play it became clear that staying right where we were was what was going to serve them the best.

I wish to share here a little something special that I observed on this day, the last true Tender Tracks day.

In the beginning of the year there was a lot of play that was large with Super Hero characters and man made creation themes.  Sometimes movie’s watched took over their experience of the natural world and being in the present moment with the elements.
The last three  weeks or so the play has shifted very visibly to such a beautiful and profound connection and inclusion of the natural world.  They have simply been animals, birds and bugs of the Earth and Sky in their play.  They have opened up to the wonders of nature in a far greater way and capacity with a comfort that has been a joy, joy, joy to behold.

Io and Aaron never really were challenged with this so they have been supporters of moving into this kind of play.  On this particular day however, Ione was a bird and was literally flitting about and talking to Michelle and I from that mind set.  She was also talking with the Dark Eyed Junco’s as her friends.  Aaron has been the Mouse King pretty much all year and has brought Rhett into that play many many times.

One of my favorite memories in relationship to this sort of thing was when Rhett asked Aaron if he wanted to play Spider Man. Aaron said kindly, no and asked if he wanted to play Mouse King. Rhett instantly and with ease said YES and off they went!
They all were playing so very, very sweetly together being babies, family, animals, taking care of each other.  We played one of Layton’s favorite games Coyote and Rabbit where they all proceeded to run as rabbits and hide up in the tree!  Some wanted to turn into Coyotes so they allowed themselves to be caught!!:)

While they were all very engaged in being the beings that they were I set up a “ropes course”, something they have done before.  Throughout the day, if they chose, they would become little blind moles, put on a blindfold on and make their way along the rope to the end.  There were several tricky parts and it is always so very fun to see what each person does when they go through this fun adventure: moving upon the earth with out our dominant sense, seeing.   Layton really likes her eyes so she regularly lifted up the blind fold.  Alara persevered and kept trying at this one spot that she couldn’t figure out where to go. ( they were instructed to never let go of the rope)  Rhett went through it without a blind fold and yet with his eyes closed and just was easy about it all.  The other children liked watching and quietly running in and out of the rope.

There was a great big desire to go under the water fall so, after lunch that is exactly what happened!!  What joy they were in. Rhett went off by himself for a little bitand had a glorious time playing with a stick in the water. He was noticing how it made waves and then didn’t. When I came over to sit with him he asked if I would tap my foot in the water so he could see if it did the same thing as his stick or not.   Aaron found the “mermaids hair/ creek greenery and made a great ball of it to play with.  Layton went charging into the water as she, Velia and Alara found some Newts that they played with until the end of our day.  They  found two of them.

And oh yes, earlier Michelle, Alara,Aaron, and Velia were down at the creek creating dams for the little fish and tadpoles. It turns out though that these beings were much more agile and skilled at getting out of the enclosures that they made. Rhett, Io, Layton and I were up at the top playing Bird and family.   We were all so immersed in being birds and such but then I felt like it had really been a long time since we heard our friends so, we went on an adventure to find them.  We used our Coyote call and THEY CAME!!!!

The day was most, most delightful and from a teachers point of view and as I mentioned above, they are now so peacefully able to be immersed into the Natural world and all it’s beings in Joy.

Waxing Moon
Lake Laguitas

Ariel and Layton were absent today.

We began in the bus with an invitation to a new adventure.  They were asked to choose a stuffed animal that they would like to take out of the bus today and go on an adventure with them.

The otter was absent as well so Alara chose the Fairy statue,  Talay chose the Sparkly Sea Horse, Velia the Giraffe, Aaron the Horse, Rhett the Rhino and Ione the dolphin.

Michelle had  not arrived yet so I invited the children to camouflage  their stuffed animals at their tree so that Michelle could see if she could find them.

As we sat down to circle Velia had asked something with her arms crossed and a bit of an angry tone.  I thought it would be fun to bring  us into a game of feeling our sensations when we ask for something with our arms crossed, arms open and arms opened wide and up in the air. They enjoyed this game. Try it, it feels so very different each time. What does it feel like to you???
We were just about to sing when Michelle came and brought us into a new game that then led us into singing to all the directions and our other songs.  We had our smudging circle and Alara JUMPED into wanting to be first.  There were group smudges too!
We then had a story about how one of our songs came to be. It was about learning to sit ever so still under a tree and hear it’s song.
After circle they went with Michelle as she slowly found each one of their treasures. We then played Bandaid tag and their own tree was where they got the bandaid’s off. They made a variation on the game where you use your stuffed animal to tag each other.
They liked this part very much.  Some of them were so very very busy  as well as content with covering their sutffed animal or building little homes for them. It was tender to watch.

We finally gathered our belongings and made our way up the trail.  It was getting so very, very hot too.

When we got to the top the view of the lake was so beautiful. We stayed a bit and just gazed at it’s glory.  We walked a little more and then found another interesting place. We saw that little flowers were growing on top of the water. We went down closer and sure enough on the plants in the lake were growing beautiful little white flowers.  Earlier Alara was wondering if Dragon flies have antenna.  I suggested we look at some when we see one. Michelle found one floating on the water, presumably dead. She scooped it up. Not only was it not dead but we did not see Large  antennae. We did however see small antennae,just like the ones that Alara had drawn on a picture she showed us.

The Dragonfly did pass on about 15 minutes later but we got to see it up close. It was a beautiful and incredible being able to see it so close up.

Down, down, down, the trail we went until we found our self at a spot we know and appreciate and the place that Aaron calls the, “Troll Bridge.”   It was lunch time at this point and they all were saying how their tummies were grumbling. We sat down in our circle and began to eat. Velia needed to poop so she and I went to find a place off the trail to offer this gift while Michelle told them a story that they requested about Moon Rocks. We came back to hear the last half of this beautiful tale.  We all wound up telling each other our personal stories about the Moon and then off they went to play and explore in the creek that was in front of us and that still had water in it.

Talay discovered a Water Skeeter eating a bug it’s own size!!  We stared at that for quite a while. They took some of their lunch containers and became very involved with trying to catch little beings from the water.  And then that time came that nobody wanted, getting ready to go back. So that is what we did.

They told stories to their animal companions while during our day and showed them all around where we were staying and eating. They had them look up, and down and all around and they loved whispering their tales in their ears.