Tender Tracks Friday Day 14

December 21, 2018
Winter Solstice
Waxing Moon (almost full!)
Deer Park

We had a misty, magical morning at Deer Park. The children helped carry all of the day’s important supplies from the bus, working in pairs and trios to carry crates and bags together. After settling in with a backpack spot and finding places for all of our gear, everyone was off to play. Some amongst the Redwood Fairy Rings and Miles, Blake, and Charlie went in the creek bed to climb the rocks to the other side. Violet found so many mushrooms of different sizes and colors and called out “mushroom! mushroom! MUSHROOM!” for all her friends to see her discoveries. Rohan turned into a Banana Slug, sometimes sleeping and sometimes dead. And Margot and Siena were Forest Princesses among the trees of their kingdom. Ruby and I finished the handles for the children’s lanterns they worked on last Friday.

At snack time, we shared a deliciously sweet treat of chocolate and raspberry cupcakes, made especially for us by Wendolyn. We also had some coconut nog which most children tried and some even liked. Ruby shared a story of gnomes and stones and brightly lit lanterns. After snack, we watched the wax melt on the camp stove and learned how to dip the candles for our lanterns. We had to dip into the wax, down and up, let the wax drip off and then dunk it in the cold water. The children marched from wax to water chanting the instructions of ‘dip, drip, dunk’ as their candles grew and grew with each new coat of wax. They were also fascinated by how the water in the jar made their candles look even bigger when viewed from underwater.

When the candles were big enough, Ruby and I set them in the lanterns with some wax to secure them. The children sang to invite the fire fairies and we lit each lantern. Our lanterns illuminated our journey as we explored the circles of Redwood trees and found a special treasure: the gnomes from our story with a mysterious rock tucked beside them! The children used hammers to crack open their rocks to find the sparkling crystals inside, and it was such a joyful discovery to share!

Grandpa Sun started peeking through the clouds and we were lucky again to have a sunshine lunch. As we ate, we chatted about our plans for the break and the many adventures and holiday fun we would have. Grandpa Sun kept warming us and the forest, and then we could hear all the birdsongs as they sang their appreciation for the bright, warm sun.

Ruby shared that her Mom lives very close to Deer Park and all the children got excited to gather some forest gifts to leave on her doorstep. We all found some lovely forest things; moss, lichen, branches, and leaves to bring on our walk. A beautiful offering was left on her doorstep as a solstice surprise for when she returned home.

Back at the Deer Park bridge, we turned into the fastest animals to run and retrieve our backpacks and treasures and all met at Juniper Rose for our cozy ride home. We had many gratitudes for the day and our picture was so full of wonderful things we saw and appreciated. Thank you all for a lovely 2018 and we are so excited to see you in 2019!

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