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Two days after New Moon
Roy’s Redwoods

Another fun filled and glorious day.  Your children continue to be filled with creativity, exploration and intrigue with nature and their natural state, PLAY!
When we got here they chose to go to the Left, down the long, open path where there were butterflies and bugs, plants and tracks to notice, follow, question and explore.   When they came to the end of the open path and into the one that led into the woods they finally recognized this familiar place but it was like it was new to them at the same time.  They remembered things but their enthusiasm was as if it was an old friend whom they had forgotten many details yet remembered all the joys.

Sidona went straight to climbing high up a tree limb, one that she did before.  The others wanted to do it to and there was a fair amount of negotiating around that/how to take turns.    They went back to scraping charcoal off the tree for painting ourselves too.
Later, Sidona, Simone and I began making a shelter and then they all joined in.  We all pulled long dead branches around to build it and then they then built stories around this home to bring the whole world alive.  Later , closer to the end of the day, Bodhi began taking it down and the boys just LOVED doing that!  They loved pulling around all of the heavy wood and dragging it away and piling it up.

We found the tree that could turn into a swing and the boys played on that for awhile then we all explored away from our Redwood nook.   There were stories, and games, drawing and making sharp swords, spears and writing tools.

This journal is very very short and I do apologize for that yet, you can know that the day was filled with laughing, some struggling/not much, creativity, joining together, playing apart, moving their large muscles and sometimes their small ones, being quiet and being loud.  They listened to the sounds of the birds and distinguised between different sounds from one area to the other and on the way home, they all enjoyed playing with all the stuffiies that Simone tossed out in a game.

Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas

What a glorious day.  Everyone was here today and there was more unity then ever.  The boys played together beautifully.  About a month or more ago Leo and Bodhi bonded and Lenny felt left out.  Then Leo was gone and Lenny and Bodhi bonded. Now Leo is back from a few absences and the three of them all played with each other beautifully.
It is so wonderful to bring them back to the same place and hear them instantly recap past experiences, check things out to see if they are the same or different and discover new terrain.  That is what happened, yet again today.

The day began with them instantly discovering the Cicada’s shells all over the Redwood tree’s right at the parking lot.  They gathered and gathered these treasures and then we went to the picnic tables to eat and compare what each one found.   They noticed many variations on each shell and looked at so many of them.   It was also a delight to hear them get to the point of letting them go and being content to give them all back to the Earth so that other creatures and beings could utilize them.
They were having such a grand time in this area that, as was last week, I just couldn’t pull them away. Or at least not initially.
It was the right time to allow their bodies, hearts and minds to unfold into the embrace of the natural world and all that they were instinctively drawn too: playing in the water, climbing on rocks, checking out bugs and crawling creatures….
There came a time that it felt right enough to ask them to pack up so we could go on an excursion to see if we could find Cat Tail Pollen.

They actually packed up with great ease and off we went.   When we walked past the controlled burn charcoal I picked up a bunch in order to make “pencils” for later.   They helped me gather that.  I didn’t have a place to put it other then carry it in my hand so Simone offered to put it in her outside pocket of her back pack. We came across the first batch of Cattails and looked at them from many angles but, no Pollen.  We went further down and found more Cattails but, no pollen.  Ah well, I guess they are just not ready yet, or maybe, past their prime!   So off we went to the place I had wanted them to end up, the place near the first bridge.

Lenny was VERY excited about this because he, and the others acutally, remembered a game that we played there very, very early on in the year.  It was being Tigers and Mt. Lions and chasing ME!  The entire rest of the way there they did what five year olds do best, figure out who is going to be who.  There was GREAT discussions and figurings about all of this.  Bodhi was insistent about being his Tiger self, and some wanted to be Lions.  I mentioned that I love Jaguars and Simone liked that a lot.  They relegated me to being a Bob Cat and I said that was going to be hard.  I would have no chance of safety as a Jaguar’s jaw could just munch me down instantly and the other cat’s would make short order of me as well.  But, we could play Mt. Lion and Deer?!  Ok, I did this ONLY to bring some awareness of the difference between each one of the cat’s that they wanted to be  (I went into further playful detail of each one of these animals strengths and weaknesses).  They continued on with all of this until we got there and what joy as they ran right up into their beloved Redwood, Fortress?

Many things happened and yet the game never actually panned out. However, many other things did.  I started to make charcoal pencils which, by days end, most of them were drawing with.   Simone and Bodhi spent a good deal of time building a road in the sand and they created a GREAT little rhyme song that they loved singing over and over and over again.   Sidona, Lenny and Leo were very involved in choosing who was going to be whom until they got tired of that. Lenny discovered what sounded like a California newt in the water and then he and Leo made fishing poles where they attached some of their apples to them and sat their “fishing” for a long, very peaceful time.  Wow, that was a wonder filled site!

Our walk back was blessed with a MAGNIFICENT bird that I spied.  I wasn’t sure what it was due to it’s long neck. It had brown wings as long as an Eagles with a white head that had a thin neck and white underneath on it’s breast.  The children finally saw it sitting in the tree when I showed them and then, it took a great leap from the tree and dive bombed into the water with a splash.  We were all delighted and excited from the beauty of this!!!  It basically fit’s the description of an Osprey but , that long neck has me a bit stumped. Anybody know for sure from the description?  I am no expert on Osprey’s.

What a glorious and very full day with Nature’s wonders gifting our every moment.

Waxing Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Leo was home sick today.
They were all in happy spirits and ready for the days unfoldment.
Today was the day to see if the Iris’s we gathered from last week that I soaked all week would make some good paint.
I brought out the brick that Lenny brought to Tender Tracks a couple of weeks ago along with a stone Mortar and Pestle.
The brick had to be thrown hard onto some stones in order to break into smaller pieces to pound.  That was fun for all to try and throw the brick hard enough to break.  This was no easy task and they worked at it. Lenny broke a stone in the process and got a great and sharp knife out of it from the stone!  They pounded and pounded yet the person who stuck to this and loved it the most was Simone!
We checked out the Iris paint and it was actually too watery to do much so they mixed some of the brick red to it.  We gathered Dandelions for paint brushes and used some lichen too.  They also found some charcoal to paint with as well.
While they were expeimenting I made, in front of them, a little stick frame and attached some paper to it like a canvas.  Then I told them a story to support all that we were doing that was all about How the Indian Paintbrush plant came to be.  The story included painting like this on a frame.  They then had some paper to paint on.  When they were finished with all of this they scattered to cross over the log over the creek and explore the other side of the creek.
They ran over to the waterfall in memory of when we climbed all over the rocks over there.  They were in delight as they tested their bodies skill at pulling up in hard spaces using a large root that traversed the slipper rock. Bodhi scampered up another section, Sidona tested her strength and skill with the root and Lenny did his best to imitate her abilities.  Simone was climbing over slipper rocks with ease when she realized that she needed to use the bathroom.  Over the roaring waters I signaled for her to go back to the tree area.  She misunderstood me and went all the way back, over the log and back to the picnic table area  where all of our stuff was in order to use a tree there.
While they were on the other side of the creek I had put all of their painting things away.  When Simone was finished peeing she said “Why is everything put away?”  I said, ” You were all fiinished.”  And she said “NO!”  So out everything came and she spent a good portion of the rest of the day creating pounding and pounding and then creating many potions with charcoal, brick, flowers, lichen and creek water in the buckets that I had out for them.
While this was happening the other three continued on with traversing the challenging rocks near the loud waters.  Sidona discovered and commented on the loudness of the water and seemed quite delighted and amused by this.    She and Lenny scampered over this one spot yet Bodhi struggled.  I was on the other side of the water watching as he tried, and tried and tried to figure out how to get across this one slipper part.  He persevered for quite some time.  I waited before stepping in as I did not want to disturb his struggling and problem solving.  He finally called out to Lenny as he just could not figure out how to get his slippery boots on the slippery rock to cross over.  He then appeared to be potnetially entering into a more traumatic point so I called out to him to see if he wanted some help.  He calmly said yes.  I came over and with one very small adjustement, he figured out how to cross over and ran off with delight.  By this time Sidona and Lenny had found, and had been finding, lot’s of Banana Slugs.  Earlier they all found this rock circle that looked like someone was trying to make a fire pit.  They thought that this would be a great Banana Slug house so they kept putting the Slugs in there.   Bodhi left Sidona and Lennt and came over to see what Simone was doing and from there the two of them had a GRAND time making potions and experiments together.  Bodhi was true to 4/5 year old form when he said,  “You don’t like to kill but I am REALLY liking playing with you!”  He had such beautiful child  innocence and authenticity.  Sidona didn’t have any response yet they continued playeing very happily together with overt joy.
All the while Sidona and Lenny were building their Banana Slug palace.
I crept up on them to sit behind the tree and hear their play.  Lenny didn’t think Sidona was making the house quite right and Sidona was sharing how it was just fine.  They finally figured out how to make this place mutually acceptable and then, Sidona came around the corner and spied me.  I laughed and she looked on with wonderment.  They then showed me their creation.  They had beautifully built up this Slug home like an Irish stone house.  They had gathered several more Banana Slugs too though there was one that just kept crawling out and away!

A bit later places changed again and then Sidona began to play with Simone and Bodhi and Lenny joined forces again. Then all of them came to finish out the day with filling up all the buckets ( I went and got two more for all of them to have) with water and all that they had gathered.  They were entranced and involved with it all until we had to go and dump these magickal creations out onto the Earth and then use the creek water to clean their vessels.   Simone was a bit hard pressed to do any of this because she really could have carried on for much longer.  However, we did all manage to clean up, pack up and get back into the bus and make our way back to pick up.