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May 30, 2018
Waning Crescent Moon
Peri Park/Car Wash

Cole was absent.

Today was our last “regular” day of the school year and in truth, it was not regular at all.
We had circle right there on the “stage” in the park. However, before that, we all played down in the creek.  Some of the children wanted to cross over the water so we had to go searching about for a log or something that could help us.  I finally found something, brought it over and one by one they all tested their skills at climbing over.  Uma really wanted to go over but she does not like getting wet.  After a while, it was figured out that she had rain boots on and could easily just walk across!!!

Once on the other side, there were many hills to climb up, down and over, Poison Oak trails to avoid and lot’s of fun to be had.  The many navigational skills that were learned and took place were a delight to behold as their bodies, hearts, and minds worked at finding unity with the inherent desire to cross over water, climb up and down hills, explore and play.

I am now realizing that I included before and after circle in the above retelling of our day so now; Circle Time.

We all gathered together and we had a simple story about Juniper Rose, our beloved bus, and all the children washing her up to get her ready to be painted next week on our last day together.   We then had our snack of yummy Banana Bread, and back to play. We did have a”task”, however,  that Ruby and I needed to do with and for the children.  So, we set that up on one of the picnic tables in the sun and nearby.  We needed to trace their footprints on some canvas bags.  So, one by one, they took off their shoes and socks, picked the color they wanted to trace their feet and then put their feet on the bags. Then we traced them, they stepped off and put their shoes and socks back on.  Then, PLAY AGAIN!!! 🙂

Finally, we were ready to go and paint Juniper Rose. The ride to the care was was so short that we did not pass out stuffed animals. It indeed took nor more than 5 min to get to the Car Wash that was just a bit down the road from Good Earth.  There the children came out, we got coins for the machine, they all got wash rags, I rinsed the bus, got the soapy scrub brush going and they trailed behind me washing away.  WHAT FUN!!!  Especially when rinsing time came. Eamon, Holden, Ellie Turtle, in particular, and a few others, ran under the spray that I raised up for them to run under.  They squealed with delight any time water sprayed at any time during this process and then scrub, scrub, scrubbed and then dry, dry, dried the bus.  Then, we all inspected our grand work and how clean we got the bus!!!!!  Truly, much fun was had. Then, back to the park.

We came out, got our lunches out and ate.
After Lunch Violet, Uma and Ashley had such a grand time playing Castle and such on the big stump chairs that were in the warm sun.  The rest were playing with Ruby in the woods many games that at times I was drawn into when I was able to be taken away from the CASTLE GAMES!!! 🙂

We relaxed, spent easy time with one another and then had a goodbye circle to say goodbye together and then off they went home.

May 23, 2018
Waxing Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Today was a cold, wild and wonder-filled day.  Truly, the energy that came in had a lot of windy and some chaotic movement to it.  Yet, as Ruby and I looked over the whole day there were so many wonderful, wonderful times, actually the whole day when we looked at what and how the children might be experiencing the day.  So here is a bit about it but first, a small description of each of your children through, my lense:

Eamon was more quiet and less his happy hearted self.  A lot of the day Holden didn’t want to play with him and he was quite forlorn about that.  And, as always, after Holden was allowed time and space to do what was right and true for him, he and Eamon were back together again.

Holden was very much wanting to play with Cole this day and explore that relationship.  He does have a tendency to pick on Eamon even when not playing with him so there was aiding them through this all.  Yet, in spite of all that, he played and had a good time with his friend Cole and then Eamon and then all the children.

Uma came in shy, opened up fairly quickly, had less of her Monster play and, really liked being recognized for that strong part of her.  She was playing with the other girls and involved.

Luna was still in her world of “No one wants to play with me” and still having a heart that can easily be redirected to warmth, happiness and the love that is right in front of her.

Ellie Turtle was her happy, playful self. She had NO problem getting warm clothes on and was delighted to play with all.  Ellie went searching for her tree (I will explain later on). When she found this lovely little Redwood tree she put her arms all around it and just hug, hug, hugged it!

Ashley was in great spirits and alive with connection and warmth with the group.  She, like Ellie Turtle, had no problem putting warmer clothes on due to the days cold and drizzly weather.

Ellie Muenzen came in with a great deal of playfulness and was full of life and smiles throughout the day. She spent a lot of time with Ruby due to what each of us was doing with the children.  She got very engaged finding her tree that she loved and give it big hugs. She spent a long time looking for that tree and kept Ruby abreast of this. Ruby’s version of the tale was delightful.

Cole was a bit shy entering in yet easily opened up when Holden shared how they both had hats the same.  He was happy and engaged the rest of the day until he thought he had lost his hat!!  But ease was restored when Ruby let him know exactly where his special hat was. Phew!

Violet came in wanting hugs, hugs hugs from her sister yet sitting next to her friend Ashley was comforting as well as having her little, well loved, stuffy from home with her throughout the day.

Now, as I mentioned, the energy had wild and dispersed energy so, how to facilitate each individuals pattern and flow with the others? In the end, I do believe it took place. But first….

When we got to the lakes out they went and away to their favorite spots they flew.  There were warm clothes to be put on with Ruby and Wendolyn went to tending to the many wonders they were seeing. Violet was thrilled with what she kept finding and wanting me to “Come see, Come see!!”

As I was working to set up circle many requests, all at once, were being made. Oh dear! Well, slowing down, taking tender breathes came about and listening one then to the other happened.

There was a lot of talk about Moana brought in and it felt like a diversion from what would be beneficial towards their connecting more deeply to the NOW and the present moment.

What emerged from this, however, was, the Tree game.  It was shared that, “There is a tree just for you with a beautiful heart right inside of it waiting to be hugged and ready to give a hug back to you.  Just look around and you will find it. ”  So they scattered. Most lost interest and/or patience but not Ellie Turtle and Ellie Acorn.  They carried on until they found that special tree where hugs were given and received !!

When we got to circle it started, again, a bit chaotic. Their hands were cold and we brought out the mittens. But with mittens, there is a lot of, no I won’t wear these they have to be this color. Well, at Tender Tracks it is rare to fall into that.  As Cole stated, ‘today I might not get the color I want but tomorrow I might get it!!’  And that is true. This little simple thing called postponement gratification leads to resilience, patience, ease in life, and trusting of life.  And so, with a settling in of this little journey it seemed right and fitting, particularly that it is almost the end of the year, to bring back the song we sang every morning together at the beginning of the year.  “There were two little beautiful birds sitting int he circle one wearing_________ and that is???  And so two by two I would point out a color or something they were wearing and the children would call out the name of who it was and the story song went on.  They loved it and it was so fun to hear them know each others names, completely.  Then snack and then, celebrating the four birthday girls.

It was a simple story about the group and four children who had birthdays in the summer.  After the story and singing to them our birthday song came. The girls were invited into the middle of the circle and the others who were behind them could sit on the picnic table to watch.  There they each were given the bag with the Tender Tracks rocks. A story first about the Knomes and how they made these special rocks just for them to choose was told. Then, one by one they chose their stone, showed it to the group and then put it in their special little pouch.

From there we got rung out of the circle by the singing bowl and off they went.

A very, very fun game evolved first from working on building a little debris hut. When it collapsed there were larger logs found and concrete slabs. We set them up in a certain manner and then, how fun to jump on them and balance on the poles! Then a game of Jack be Nimble Jack be quick Jack Jump over the Candlestick happened. Waiting their turn was challenging for them so then the stick went high and turned into a special London bridges falling down game where when the words, My Fair lady happened, the stick went down and they had to run out of the way.  They LOVED playing this game together. It morphed into so much more which was very, very fun and then it ended with them runninggg to a tree and running back to touch the pole.

We then discovered a Merganser duck mom with 5 little ducklings on her back!!!!!  We followed and followed and followed them down the creek until the children found a Ca. Newt.  There was some roughness with this friend and  this time I invited them to sit down, take a breath and just watch their friend here without picking him up for he seemed to want to get away.

We then came back for lunch, cleaned up and went to the bus as we ate later than usual.

And, as usual, the day FLEW by.  Filled with so much!!!

 

May 16, 2018
Waxing Crescent Moon
Sorich Open Space

Cole was absent.

The Sun and Cloud People were playing hide and go seek all day today as we got hot, cold, hot, cold throughout the day.  We had taken many layers off and slathered on sunscreen for circle time with hats donned, and the shirts and coats back on at lunchtime.

When we got to Sorich they happily jumped out and went to play.  The first thing I saw was Uma and Ashley sitting on top of the Big Rock completely content!!  Ellie Acorn wanted to get right up there too.  Holden and Eamon were playing immediately in their favorite “house” and then Uma became a Monster that roared her roar at them. Luna climbed up top as well as Violet and then most of the girls came down to set up circle and wait until we began.  Throughout the day, however, Violet, Ashley, Holden, and Eamon had their many games together.

At circle it was leisurely as there was much shedding of clothes and putting on of sunscreen.  Then we casually passed out snack and THEN the story. It was the same story as last week as repetition is what is the best.   And, they were still so very involved in this tale.  Our intention for the day was to continue to build upon it which is why, we came to Sorich so that we could find the Chicken, a character in the story.

After Story, they played a bit more, in, above, and around the Big Rock.  Luna and Ellie Acorn were “garbage people.”  This was inspired by Luna.  Earlier Luna said, “No one will play with me.”  Standing RIGHT in front of her was Ellie Acorn. I said look who is right in front of you !:))))  And they both laughed. Luna asked if she would like to play the garbage person game and Ellie was gung ho!  I gave them a bag and they gathered. Later I saw them and their bag, it was filled with ROCKS!!!  This was their “garbage.”  They were very happy.  Uma wanted their bag and tried to take it away so there was a bit of help with waiting for her turn or asking if she could play with them.  She wanted to go back to being “the Monster” then, and she did with enthusiasm.   Ashley really, really, really liked putting me in Jail and wouldn’t give me anything to eat. Violet liked the jail thing but she gave me ice cream and pumpkin pie.  Uma made poison for me to Live as well as die with, (it all depended) and Ellie had magick for me to die. Each time I died, however, when they brought me back to the living I turned into a new person!!  After a while, as you can imagine, I was tired of coming back so many times so I went off and they went back to the rock. :)!:)  Please note, the death theme at this age is very common.  My style is to play with where they are at in a neutral way. This gives them time and space to explore this theme and notion of death that they are embracing at this time in their lives.

We finally got our packs on to go on an adventure to find what the fox needed to find in the story.  Where is grass to give to the cow? Where is the water to give to the grass?  Where is a pitcher for the water? Where are the blue beads? Where is a chicken? and Where is a farmer?????

We began our search.  We found some grass, we found a mound of blue glass beads and they each got two, we found the creek but no water in it but then, we found a water bottle, and that would do.
But, where is a chicken??? “At the farm!” some proclaimed. So down the road we went to the farm where, a chicken for sure, but an egg and some chicken seed and a Farmer???

We DID find the chickens, we did NOT find an egg, we DID find some chicken food and we DID find a farmer.  The baby chickens have grown since we last saw them so they were fun to see a little older yet not fully grown. The farmer was very friendly and said we could cut as many of the flowers there to take and he even left us something to wrap bundles in.

We ate lunch, played in the garden, cut down the flowers, wrapped the flowers and made our way back to the bus. And oh yes, we gave the water to the grass and thanked the farm for all that we received.

On the bus I sang a silly song all about them and their day which led us to our goodbye song and our gratitudes.

A lovely, lovely, lovely day.

It is clear that they are older as they are playing so much more with each other. Ellie Acorn is now fully engaged with the other children.  At one point at the garden, Ashley, Violet and Ellie Turtle gave Ellie Acorn the biggest of hugs and she just hugged them all back.  Violet, Ashley, Holden and Eamons fun together keeps growing, Luna and Ellie Acorn playing together was a delight to see. Uma’s strength of being a Monster and engaging in this strong play seems very good and grounding for her. And, Ellie Turtle is so happy and alive playing with the girls, and sometimes the boys, with her kindness and humor.

We will miss your children so and very happy to know that some of them we will be able to carry on with Tender Tracks in the fall. Yeah for it all!!!