Nov. 30, 2017
The day began with wild energy predominantly from Puma which lasted pretty much all day. He was wild with the day, whirling and swirling.
Avaline joined in as well yet not as whirly and swirly just into the games and fun. Vita was alive with fun as well, Devin rather peaceful, and Austen “down for the count” and the fun.
Our intention of the day was to build a fire and cook our Madrone berries that we gathered on Tuesday into a sauce. We forewent circle this day and just went right into preparing for our fire.
We needed our bucket filled with water for fire safety. Austen was up for doing that. I thought that he was going to go to the spigot or down to the creek. Well, he went to the creek but to the part where the waterfall was flowing and he could easily get wet. He filled the bucket part way, got a bit wet and then with great ease and his usual light-hearted nature told Ruby that he could not get it up the hill. The two of them worked together and we got the bucket to the fire. However, wet he was so a changing party happened with he and I. Puma took this time to climb up the side of the hill. There he found a great Banana Slug and brought it on over. Ruby gave him the task to bring it right back where he found it. As he was telling those of us down by the fire pit about the Banana Slug he was distracted and went off. Devin wanted to bring the Banana Slug to a good place so he took it (it was on a leaf). He did take it to another place. However, this was not where Puma had found it so Puma found where Devin put it and finished his “quest” to climb up the high hill and return the Banana Slug to its rightful home. Several times as he climbed he had to stop, put the Banana Slug down, figure out how to move his body safely, pick it up again and then bring it right to the spot. And, HE DID!! Puma has been really craving and loving doing these sorts of adventures that push his physical limits. It is a joy to watch.
Avaline and Vita were playing with JOY down by the other side of the creek. When I got the fire ready they all came over, we gave the Fire gratitude with some cornmeal offerings and, with one match and very dry material, we lit the fire. They took turns blowing it awake and learning the safety aspects of being around the fire. We put the berries in the pot along with honey, apple juice and arrowroot powder for thickening and cook, cook, cook it went.
Ruby, Austen, and Devin stayed by the fire while I took Puma, Avaline and Vita to get dryer clothes on.
By the time all of this was done and ready to eat it was actually time to eat lunch so, lunch happened around the fire and then our concoction along with the bread from Tuesday happened. No one really liked the Madrone berry sauce. The bread, however, was eaten :). It has been hard for me to find the nutritional content of Madrone berries, what I feel when eating them is that they are a bit acidic like foods that have Vit. C in them. They do have lot’s of tannins though. I inserted some info below however.
The early Native Americans residing in California used the Pacific madrone for a variety of purposes. These people collected madrone berries fresh and used them to prepare unfermented cider. They also consumed the dried berries and after cooking them. These Native Americans dried the reddish madrone berries and made them into a necklace and wore them. In fact, the berries and leaves of the madrone tree made wonderful ornaments for these people. The leaves of this tree are used for therapeutic purposes and are recommended for people enduring cramps, stomach aches, skin sores as well as a variety of other health conditions. Even people engaged in tanning leather found out that the madrone tree bark was useful for them.
After eating, the rest of the day was filled with so many stalking games, Coyote and Rabbit ( inspired from a story I told them about how our Fire song came to be and How fire came when Coyote was chasing Rabbit around a bush. They went faster, and faster and faster and faster and….POOOFFFF the bush turned into a blaze. ) So, we played Coyote and Rabbit. Vita and I were Coyote’s and Puma and Avaline were the rabbits. Vita and I went across and over the creek to sneak up on them. And surprised them we did!!!!!
While we were doing that Devin was quietly and happily building near their Redwood Tree house. Austen joined him and the two of them played ever so lovely for quite some time. Austen after a while left and then Vita joined Devin and then THEY had a great, and long time together, playing and building.
I forgot to say that during lunch it was getting a bit scattered in conversation so, Ruby and I stayed quiet. They were so curious about that. I simply spoke in sign language. Vita understood everything I said. Avaline was a bit confused yet really was trying to figure out what I was saying via created sign language, Puma was a variety of things: intrigued, curious, frustrated, and back to curious and excited. Austen and Devin watched with interest. Ruby came in later on with whispered words and held the course. My intention: to bring them beyond the norm, push them a bit to stretch their comfort zone and be exposed to a new way of communicating, bring them into more silence and listen to what was around us. All happened and they did figure out what I was encouraging them to look, listen and observe at one point: a Black Raven. They figured that out with delight.
From this experience, after lunch and at some point in between everything else, I brought them into an old nature awareness game. One person sits quietly facing away from others. One by one a person stalks up to the turned around person, walking like a quiet fox, with the intent to touch them without being heard. The person sitting looking away points behind them if they hear a sound. A great game to deeply increase being in the present moment, expanding ones hearing awareness and utilizing all of your senses in order to listen and feel what is coming behind you. The children had a grand time with this game!!!
The time to leave finally came so we cleaned up and off we went!