Tender Tracks Friday: Day 26

April 5, 2019
New Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Violet brought some sweet books to share with us and I read them on our bus ride to Lake Lagunitas. The children really enjoyed the stories: Have you filled a bucket today? A guide to daily happiness for kids and Thank the Animals. Blake was not with us today, and we hope he’s having fun on his vacation.

What a wet and wonderful day! We planned ahead and made sure to bring the canopy cover to keep us dry, plenty of firewood to keep us warm, and the little stove to cook something yummy. The children helped Ruby and I set up the canopy for some cover from the rain, and they brought the buckets over to sit on by the fire.

The Lake was very busy today as many school children on a field trip were present and seemed to be involved with a Marin Municipal Water District educational program. They were very curious about our fire and cooking as we went about our morning, we guessed that they had never seen real Tender Trackers in their natural habitat! Soon their program was over, they piled back into cars and buses, and the forest was quiet again.

Ruby showed us how to start a fire with flint and steel as we sang for the fire fairies, who were stubborn at first, but then came to dance in our special fire fairy home in the fire pit. For snack, we had some delicious banana bread shared by Rohan’s mom and we cooked up some warm pasta to enjoy in the chilly morning. The children were very sweet and patient with the morning that felt hectic with visitors and the wait for fires to start and water to boil. They were very content to sing and chat around the circle, while sitting on their buckets.

After snack, the children took to the woods to play a game filled with Queens, Knights, Kings, A Very Fashionable Grandma, A Baby Princess, and I even got to be the Royal Puppy! There was much coming and going around the Redwood Fairy Circle with food deliveries, protecting the castle, and general Royal Business.

The children found a small, dead mouse. Margot wondered if it might still be alive and then we talked about it and realized that the mouse would be running from us if it was still alive. They were very reverent with it and speculated on what might have happened and what forest creatures might find it later for a meal. There were guesses of Coyote, Owl or maybe Banana Slug. Charlie wanted to build a nest-like structure around it and we worked on that for a bit.

Later, Miles found some interesting rocks and one big one that we broke against another rock to see if there were crystals inside. Charlie found a reddish rock that we smashed and added water to make paint. Rohan and Charlie painted their hands with red rock paint.

Ruby taught Miles to tend the fire, as he was interested, and keeping her company as she tended it. He kept watch to make sure the fire fairies stayed in their spot and later helped to put out the fire. The children used their buckets to put out the fire and also cleaned the buckets in the creek to get all the mud off.  Some friends got really wet in this process (but those buckets were so clean!) and some children needed a changing party while other played some rounds of ‘fire in the forest’ with Ruby. Miles and Charlie even led the last few rounds coming up with all sorts of interesting questions (without prompting from Ruby) to ask the ‘animals’ playing, such as “does your animal have fur?” and “does your animal have feathers?”

The children helped take down the canopy and carry all the clean buckets to the bus, too!

At the end of our day, we shared gratitude for the dead mouse, banana bread, fire and pasta… and Grandpa Sun finally came out on our return to Peri Park! We hope that everyone has a wonderful Spring Break!


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