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May 15, 2018
Waxing Crescent Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Everyone was back and today we celebrated Devin’s 5th birthday!!!

The day was unexpectedly very cold and gray yet for a few moments at a time the warm Sun would peek out and we would bask, momentarily, in this wonderful warm feeling and then, the gray cloud children would come and cover our beloved Sun’s warm rays again.

When we got to the Lakes I sent them straight over to see the wonderful bouncy tree that we have played on for the past two years.  It had been getting quite old and close to very unstable and alas, it was finally cut down.  Vita told me later what they had found, how they had walked all over it and explored and then, moved on.

Straight away Puma went to find Trilly Trully and Trippy Troppy but he could not find them!!  And then, later on, Devin finally did!

As we were getting ready for circle I came upon Puma and Austen harming a Ca. Newt to the point where I truly thought it was dead as it lay on it’s back motionless.  Of course, my first reaction was great startlement and disapproval. However, I knew that would do no good so, I said “Something happened?”  “Curious about something huh?”  I then shared what I saw from each one of them and that these are our relatives… and such.  I did state that we are not here to scare but to share and now they must make right what was done wrong. So they began to dig a hole to bury this gentle soul.  At some point, I asked them to stand up and look down at the Newt. Oh my they are soooo tall, and the Newt is sooo small. Then I invited them to look up at the very tall tree standing behind them and what would it be like if it had great arms to pick them up and then DROP them down upon the earth? Oh dear, that would not feel so very good so, back to tending to what is a good and kind thing to do for our little friend. As we were about to bury it, I picked it up and alas, it moved a little!!  It was NOT dead, it only appeared. The age-old trick of playing dead in order for your predator to leave you be took place right in front of our eyes.  I took care of it from there and they went to circle.  Though the description may not give the feel for the moment it was more of a gentle and clear moment of tending to our actions without judgment.  Ahhh, this feels so much better than anger!!

At circle we sang our songs, heard our birthday story, sang our birthday song, made wishes for Devin, he got his gift with a great big smile and then, he passed out his VERY yummy snack for us all to eat with thanksgiving.  And oh yes, the weather watcher, Austin thought that it would not rain but Vita and Avaline thought it would so, during the last part of the day when the clouds got very dark and the sky very gray Avaline said: “Austin, Look!”  As it was his job to keep looking at the sky and letting us know if it was going to rain.  We did get about 4 drops.

After circle and some great games, we packed up and made our way to a spot we have not been to in awhile.  They followed the verbal clues of our map and up the steps we went. We looked for the Duck and her ducklings yet did not see them so we walked along the ridgetop. Close to the end we saw one lone turtle swimming in the water. Avaline noticed that there was a space where the Duck and ducklings could get through. Last Thursday we saw the Mommy Duck hop up and over the big black tube in the water and her ducklings try and try. They could not.  Vita and Avaline thought that maybe they just grew bigger and were able to get over until we got to this open area.

We made it to our sunny spot and there they had the best time for the rest of the day exploring, being Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister and Devin THE DOG!!!  He LOVED this but he only loved Vita because ” She found me and I am pretending to like her” So he was pretending to like her in the game as a dog but the way it came out, well, pretty funny!  They all loved chasing him around and he barking all the way.  A Red WiBlackbirdird was very brave and kept coming around us and working at getting crumbs left from lunch.  Most agreed it was a strange name as the red was really orange.  We agreed with them.

There was Tulle there so I began making a little boat from it. They helped gather all of the materials, Ruby brought the first gift to weave into it. They all finally added their gifts as I finished the boat. At the end of the day, we all put our wishes, hopes and dreams from our hearts into the boat and then we sent it to sail out on the Lake.  From there we packed up and had a lovely walk home.

I was in the rear with Avaline and Vita and when we got back to the bus, WHERE WAS EVERYONE???  Oh dear, there were lot’s of ROCKS in the bus!!  From there the ride home was so sweet. Ruby and I sang and hummed a song for awhile then we sang, as we so often do a gentle call and response and they were so very still listening. Then Ruby created this wonder filled song story about these special rocks all the way back to the park.

Today was such a very, very beautiful day.  There is a gentleness in the group and an awareness that we have few days together.  Their five year oldness is showing up so strongly in their play as they really are playing together quite cohesively!  So touching, so fun, so delightful.

May 10, 2018
Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Devin was absent and today was Owen’s last day.

Though there are only 8 days left of school Owen has a need to move on sooner than that. So, we had a goodbye circle and story for Owen with a little gift for him to remember his Tender Tracks time and friends.  He was picked up midday so we stayed in our area and played in the creek and the places where the Newts live and roam.

Watching the children continue to DELIGHT in exploring and playing with these friends is so wonderful.  Their curiosity and joy have not diminished from an entire year of this kind of play.

Puma and Avaline went down the creek to their Fairy house place after circle while the others stayed with Ruby near the waterfall.  I went with Puma and Avaline. There they were gently playing with throwing rocks into the water and seeing, with laughter and fun, what happened each time the rocks went SPLASH!  After a while, the other three, Owen, Austen and Vita, came down to join us.  There they all, with great care, threw rocks, went back and forth over the water and then finally, it was time for Owen to go as his Mom came to pick him up. Goodbyes were had and away went our friend to explore new adventures!

The children played just a bit longer and then it was time for lunch. We went back to our Sunny spot, ate, shared stories and then got ready to explore up above. Were there any turtles due to the Sunny day we wondered?  Well, we went to go see. We found no turtles but instead, we found one Momma duck and her 5 little ducklings.  Avaline was beside herself with “THEY ARE SOOOOO CUTE!!!”  She said this was her first time with seeing little ducklings.  All of them went up and down and back and forth to the path under the spillway where they could see the ducklings better.  They were learning about how Momma and babies get a bit nervous with our faster energies and they began to go slower in hopes of getting closer.

There were more wild edibles there too to be had and eaten.  Climbing up their favorite hill took place as well.  We stayed in that area for the rest of the day as the explorations, and mainly spending time with the Ducks, drew us in for a very long time until it was time to go back to the bus.

In the bus we had a fun time with goodbyes and thank you’s and then off we went followed by more stories and songs all the way home.

 

May 8, 2018
Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Avaline, Devin and Owen were absent today.

This day was very Sunny with coolness around the edges. And, it was full of life, vitality, unity and a great deal of laughter and joy.

The day began with chasing, hiding in the bushes, finding each other, getting the stuffed animals they wanted and deeply playing happily with one another, ALL DAY!

Truly this was a grand day and so very peaceful yet so very, very full.  Curiosity, exploration, exuberance and deep involvement was present throughout the day.

They instantly went to playing with the Newts as soon as we got there.  We let them play and then explore for a good amount of time. They went up on the rocks, under the diminishing waterfall and through some of the water.  When it was time to come to circle we wondered why Austen hadn’t come. We looked over and he was still on the side of the rock facing. I asked if he needed help getting down. He shook his head YES!  I came over and, with the smallest of suggestions, or rather reminders of how he got there, he figured it out and came on over.  There we turned to face the sun and sang our songs to It. This is the ONE song that we have sung every day. The children have grown a bit weary of it so, today we turned our bodies right to the Sun and gave such gratitude as we remembered the days when it was so very cold and how much we were enjoying the warmth of these strong rays and the clouds that were not covering it up.  We then sang our other songs.  I then taught them a new song.  This song was inspired by some conversation that was happening on the way up to the Lakes.  It is a song in two different languages and it is a song that honors the Tree People and how they speak to us.

The story was about all of the children and basically around where Owen was yet also about what they will be doing on this day.

After circle they all cleaned up and then charged right back to Newts and play.  After a bit, we brought them over to begin making our Healing Salve that we began over two weeks ago when we went to harvest Plantain and Calendula flowers.  They went over and half filled one of the pots for the double boiling. Then they all squeezed out the oil and plant matter from inside a cloth bag that we poured it into.   Puma was NOT  into getting his hands oily. Vita was fine and Austen REALLY gave it a squeeze. He was very proud of his strength!  They all then went down to the creek to wash their hands.  We then began to warm up the plant mixture and they measured the beeswax on a measuring scale. Vita picked out the exact chunk that was one ounce!  They each took turns stirring the pot with the beeswax.

Inspired by the fact that they wanted everything to melt right away I began a story about the caterpillars long and patient journey in becoming a butterfly. But then, but then……I BECAME A BUTTERFLY LOOKING FOR FLOWERS TO LAND ON!!!!!!! And so the chase began.  We spent a long time chasing one another, climbing up hills, stalking each other and then, our salve was ready to be poured but first, they each put in three drops of Lavender essential oils.  We poured it all into containers and then went to lunch to let it all harden up.

We had a fine lunch filled with easy eating and sharing of stories.  Then, we checked on the salves.  We thought we would then go on an adventure but, they found some of our cooking pots, charcoal from the fire pits filled with burned up wood and the rest of the day was FILLED with pounding, making potions, singing, playing music with rocks, table and sticks. Ruby and I serenaded them and they found good rocks for pounding as well as pulling LARGE sticks over for??? and then, they covered themselves with the wonderful black paint.

Each one of them were just so very very content and happy playing altogether.  It was just grand fun and that is about it.

In the bus during our gratitude time, they were very quiet so I shared, in a story manner, all about our day and if they liked this or that. The more they heard, the more they smiled and the more they said yes, to enjoying this and that and then, off we went.