Oct. 20, 2016
Bon Tempe Lake
Waning Moon

This day we started the day at our other Lake Lagunitas circle spot: “Witches Brew Hill.” They played with the big stir pot of magick putting all manner of ingredients in there ( sticks, dirt, leaves….)
We then had circle which was fun. Michelle and I had planned to go back to a place where we found GREAT, or rather Kai found, GREAT rocks for making paint from so, off we started. But alas, it became very clear that we would NEVER make it there and back again in time. The children were beautifully slow, slow, slow and taking a lot of time moving. We decided to go to a closer place along a beautiful trail to a glorious open spot that looks like a beach.

Along the way we came across a very friendly man that will come into this days story a bit later on. Half the group went ahead and I was behind with Jake, Skylar, Isabella and Eddie. They were delighted with running, playing, talking, and being. Our friends were way ahead so we had to really listen to hear them and then, WE DID!! There they were with shoes off and playing in the sun in the lake.

Jesse, Ruby, and Isabella were REALLY having a grand time for at least an hour literally throwing themselves into the muddy water. It was very soft and slippery at the edge and they thought this was SOOOO much fun!!! Archer was very happy to be “fishing” a bit away from them and Kuba was in seventh heaven pounding rocks to make paint dust. Our story for this day was demonstrating how to “Rap a tap a tap” the rocks together and make dust to then make paint. Kuba took a large shell I gave him along with the rocks, sat down and went to work!!!

After awhile half the children were with Kuba just sweetly pounding and making paint while the other half were in giggling delight down by the water.

We finally got everyone together and a bit cleaned up for lunch and had a very nice lunch circle but…Ruby’s feelings got hurt from Jesse and Isabella and she put her face inside her food dish and stayed there for a long time. Isabella and Jesse offered there kindness and she, after quite awhile, uncurled from her nest then was able to eat some more of her lunch. What was also happening before that is that Isabella and Ruby were not being very friendly to Jesse! By days end they had sorted it out.

The day was so very serene and beautiful as some played with learning how to skim rocks, being in the quiet and tranquil area we were in with the very warm Sun on our bodies and the water gently singing. Birds flying over head and treasures found below. Sitting together like a little village working on that which we need for the coming days too.

Today for the first time Kuba pooped outside! He has never done that. When he was done and I covered it up he said” Oh that’s how you do that.” He has known that other children poop out side but never really knew how it all went. What an amazing day.

One of the biggest event of the day though was when we were walking back. The children came across the man I mentioned before. He had set up an easel and wound up painting a beautiful beautiful painting of the area. He loved showing this to the children and they in turn loved receiving what he offered for their eyes to take in. When we carried on from there most of the group was ahead accept for Eddie, Skylar, Jake and I. We saw a small snake and called everyone back. It almost looked like a little rattlesnake and it turns out Michelle saw this up in Sebastopol a couple of weeks ago and also was wondering if it was a small rattlesnake. She had searched and searched and could not figure out what it was. It did not have a rattle at it’s tail yet it’s head shape was what brought about the question. So mystery still going on with what it was but the children LOVED watching it slither around and finally go into some bushes. Then as we were walking away, most of the others were up ahead with a few back with me I saw a very large Rattlesnake on the other side of the big puddle we were near. The others came back, we positioned ourselves in a good place to observe and OH how much fun this was!!! Two snakes and then this big Rattler. The kids were even more thrilled! We really did have to get back to the bus but Kuba so much did not want to leave. He LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this!!!

So, Tuesday we were blessed with a fully intact dead Raven and this day two Snakes. The wild life around us there is just stupendous and we are blessed with such beauty.

Oct. 18, 2016
Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Kai was not with us today and Michelle brought her 10 year old daughter and 8 year old son. They are always such a great addition to our days.
I will be posting over 20 photos of today as it was a very special and great day.
• made fire by friction/hand drill
• used all the fire making material that we gathered last week before the rains
• We filled the big pot with water and then with the large amount of dried Pomegranate rinds that were given to me ( we have been eating and looking at pomegranates and their rinds over the last few weeks)
• We made popcorn
• Fire roasted sweet potatoes
• Had a great morning circle
• Met their two new friends: Eland and Nayela
• Dyed our capes

Well, that is the gist and here are some more details.
Right as we walked out of the bus and onto the Earth, before Michelle arrived, we found a fully intact Raven, dead upon the ground. It did not seem like it had been dead for very long as there was still a great deal of flexibility in it. We were all so very fascinated by this BEAUTIFUL being. We finally gathered it up and took it to our spot for the day and laid it in a nice and protected spot. We then got all that we needed for our day’s adventure for dying our capes. Right about then Michelle and her children arrived. The children played a little bit while we Michelle and I set up morning circle.

Morning circle was so very, very sweet, calm and very present. Most of them were mesmerized with Nayela and watched her the entire time we sang as she sang. The story was about how the Yellow Jacket Sisters were the original Guardians of the Fire and how the animal people stole the fire from them. From that journey they all learned how to coax the fire out of trees and that is why we sit around fires and tell stories during the long winter months. We did a “backwards day” where they ate some of their lunch and drank their own water for snack,because it would take too long for us to get snack ready due to making fire. So, when they ate their lunch they then got the popcorn.

After circle it was time to play a bit and Michelle and I moved our camp to our favorite fire pit that was earlier taken. Everything got set up so nicely and then, it was time to make the fire. Our first fire of the year!! Kuba, Isabella, Archer and Ruby took turns holding the “nest” for the fire. The nest is the dried grasses with cattail and thistle down inside of it. Michelle took our her hand drill and the children all took turns, the way it was done in the story, on the hand drill to “coax” the fire out of the tree/wood. It was taking a long time and someone remarked upon this. And my thoughts are, It is soooo good to have these things take time because taking time provides room to more deeply experience what is going on. It provides time for moments to unfold, no real rush, being present in the moment and the ability to be still, wait, postpone the desires so that when the desire is fulfilled it is truly received and welcomed with gladness. And with that, the smoke started to come. The delicious smell of burning wood began and then, and then, and then, A BABY COAL!! Michelle gently tended it and got it ready to be placed in the nest. I held that and then I gently blew on it to bring it more to life. Each of the children added their breathe to it and then we put it in the other material in the fire pit and POOOOFFFFFF the flame came but, we had to continue working with it very carefully so that it would not go out and so that it would continue to stay alive. And we were successful! The fire burned, we built it up and stability took place.

Then I put the popcorn in the over the fire air popper. But alas, the fire was too strong so the first batch burned. It got dumped into the fire and a new batch was put in that came out GREAT!!!

Water was put into the kettle with the pomegranate rinds by Jake, Skylar and Archer. The three of them took turns pouring the water via the faucet or holding the kettle pot. Then off to the fire. From here Kuba found his calling: he with the most focused intent, tended that fire before and after lunch with such love, care and a knowing that “I can do this!”

Jesse and Ruby played down by the water with a great deal of peace and joy. Skylar, Eddie and Isabella were REALLY taking care of the Raven. They made it a great blanket. I was told though that at one point Isabella and Ruby were about to stomp on it. Their mischief was intercepted. Jake and Archer got back into sticks and for quite some time they were really doing great but then, something changed in them and from that point on we had to stop with sticks again. This might take a while for them and I do hope that their enthusiasm for their games will combine with the awareness of others physical bodies. A bit more time for them on this.

Towards the end of the day, after the dye pot had boiled and the color was bright and beautiful we put the redwood cone dye in a plastic bucket and poured the hot dye in a cooled pot so we could transport it. From there we called all the children in and, one by one, they chose the color they wanted, put their cape in the pot and with a stick pushed it down until the white color was gone, gone.

Then there was cleaning everything up, putting out the fire fully and making our way to the bus. Many games of course of make believe were played throughout the day as, like in a village, the children would come in and out to be with all that was being offered, eat lunch and enjoy life. 🙂

Oct 13, 2016
Waxing Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Archer came but alas, his other school had a full break out of pinworms and, after discussion with Mom, it seemed best to keep him home until that all got cleared up. They are truly so contagious. So, off he went though it was sad to see him leave.
The day was a day to look at the sky and observe the clouds as the weather report was so very strong for rain for the entire weekend. The clouds were puffy, and wavy and then turned into a blanket of gray with virtually no blue in sight. The air was very comfortable though and light jackets for the most part were all that were needed accept for under the trees at lunch when the wind picked up just a bit.

We set up circle in one of our secondary places that last years Tender Trackers know about and were delighted to revisit. At this place there is a large horse trough that all the children LOVE to play with. They make magick potions and such. On this day they all were playing together at this trough and putting all manner of wonders in it. Eddie, Isabella, and Skylar were very involved in playing on the horse bars too and making a home in the trees. Jake and Kuba wound up rebuilding a fairy house that was knocked down, Jesse, Kai and Ruby were gathering wood but in truth, these are only a few snap shots of all the different play configurations. They were all mingling in and out of all of these things and playing together. It was so very fun to start gathering wood and slowly, one by one or two by two they would come in and start gathering as well. Next week we need a lot of wood for fires so we can boil water for our dye vats for our Halloween capes! The stories have been guiding them towards this end as well as sharing about gathering wood, going to creeks to find rocks for painting and finding plant material for dying things. We played and gathered in this area until it was clear that moving along was a good thing and, it was 11:45, close to lunch. We found our way on the other side of the Bon Tempe Lake area, set up lunch circle under the trees and ate. Michelle and I got very excited because we saw a Hawk swoop over the water with what appeared to be a pigeon. Jesse came running over with us to see but he actually didn’t see anything he said. After lunch time we made it over to the Madrone trees where we were hoping the Madrone berries would be ripe enough to harvest but, they were not quite ready yet. Next week? After the rains?

Here we settled in and there was gathering of stones, wood, tinder, and discovering that a couple of the Madrone trees were great bouncy trees!
There were social changes today that at times were hard for some of them. Ruby was REALLY into Jake today because he was willing “to be nice” and Ruby loved that. Jake liked being her friend though it seemed, for the first time this year, that Jesse felt like a third wheel as her attention was directed mostly towards Jake. Skylar came in with a bit of the north wind mood and some arose due to this for Isabella and Eddie. They were together most of the day however with joy and ease. Kai therefore was not with his beloved friend Isabella yet he wound up playing with Kuba and Jesse and even Jake so in the end that was great expansion of his “social circle.” Kuba, though he loves being with the adults, was off playing and building with Jake and Kai and after lunch the girls.

Michelle today introduced to the children giving thanks and welcoming to the plant people and areas that we visit by way of offering corn meal, a very old and traditional way of giving an offering of gratitude.
The children immediately took the pinch of cornmeal and went to where they wanted in the Madrone grove to offer their thanks and place their cornmeal where they felt drawn.

Back in the bus we went. We still don’t have a grease board to draw our day so I drew a picture on a piece of paper and we shared about all the wonders we saw and experienced during the day.