Tender Tracks Tues. Week 16 Day 31

Jan. 15, 2019
Waxing Moon
Lake Lagunitas

The day was showering and/or raining mostly the whole time.
When they came in the bus the moment arose to go deeper into their social learning and how to really be together. They are older and far more capable of grasping expectations as well as their impulse control. I am not saying that they are there, by no means, they are still young and their brains have a long way to go, however, there is more capacity. With that I wound up, through the language of story and grounded play, invited them to leave certain games at home, such as Star Wars and the like BECAUSE, the animals, plants, bugs, trees, wind, sky, clouds…..all wish to play with them, and so it went on. And, the other games can be resumed when they leave here or wherever appropriate.
Nature loves them and wants them to play with them. Also, there was more on words we all like to hear said to us and words we do not.  Silence, stillness, gentleness was laid and we carried on.

The day itself, due to all that the weather required, brought about an entirely different energy which was conducive to easier play, kinder play, more inclusive play.  Great clarity and boundaries from we teachers was present as we assisted them in knowing exactly what was acceptable and not and again, they are finding their way.

I wish to say, young children work so hard each day with out really understanding their feelings and their impulses, looking for guidance, doing their best to do what is asked of them externally all the while having internal feelings that they do not have a great deal of understanding for.  Phew, they are valiant, lovely, brave and determined.  I am grateful and humbled with the opportunity to serve, learn, grow and practice the Art of Being a Human Being with and for them.

With that said, we got out our tarp that we prepared during the dry days to put up over the fire pit.  It took some doing as it wasn’t exactly as we wished. We asked our “neighbors”, our Friend who runs an older Nature program there, if he could help. Indeed he did. The shelter was put up even better, all the children helped and did their part, particularly the girls, and then we laid the fire.  We sang our fire song and, we were able to light the fire with only two matches. My goal is always a one match fire yet two was needed and then Poof! it was all done.  Warmth happened.  This was most appreciated by Theo whose hands were cold, though he would not put gloves on.

Throughout the day we interacted sweetly with the older children. Our children would go and see what they were doing, pounding acorns, and then these older children would come over to us to get by the fire, eat or offer us their acorn shells for our fire.  This was and is a true village scene. Beautiful!

We got to learn a lot about the different kinds of wood we had. Some wood brought smoke and too much of it, and then the questions of what to do when there is too much smoke such as,should we just sit here and be uncomfortable or get up and move somewhere else. How to actually warm your hands by the fire or how to use the fire to warm your wet gloves and more inquiries and learnings.

We had a story that will lead us into making brooms once the weather settles a bit. We brought projects to do on this rainy day but there just was no space in the days unfoldment to do so. The day was too filled with the natural worlds winter wonder and doing what it takes to set up camp, work together, play together and apart, clean up, eat, have snack and…Allow life to be engaged with.  Or otherwise known as, Building Relationship.

Closer to the end of the day there was a ROUSING game of Otter and fish with the girls and myself.  Otter is hungry and tries to catch fish.  Josie is the FASTEST runner and out ran us all whether Otter or Fish.

Josie spent time playing with Theo after lunch. Uma stayed closer to us grownups and the fire a lot of the day. She LOVES helping with hammering in the stakes and helping put up, and down, the tarp tent.  Ellie was so very peaceful and at ease today.  Luna started the day feeling reticent due to language being used from the boys that she does not like.  Doing our best to find a clearer path with that hopefully helped. She stayed close by as well and was immersed at finding stories for Mom. A couple weeks ago when she was missing Mom I suggested to go around gathering stories for her.  Since Luna is a wonderful weaver of tales that is what she did. She shared with me several and they were grand.  Theo was quite challenged today as he does not like being wet.  He went in and out of being ok with this and not. However, being by the fire was his joy and, even when all the children left, he stayed for quite some time.  Eamon did well as to not turning into a full blown mud child. Though we have no problem with it, per say, it is a great deal easier at days end though when he is less muddy, I do confess.  He was happy and learning to curb his words that are often not received as kind from some of the other children.  I will say, he does not hold an angry mean quality yet, others are not in his mindset , therefore, a recalibration of words used are supported. He did well!  And Holden, I had a most beautiful time with Holden today.  He was being exuberant with a stick as he and Theo were digging into a rotten log and foraging in there.  The debris went in to Theo’s face and he cried and was unhappy.  While Theo was being supported and cared for, I could see tears wanting to flow from Holden.  Ruby stayed with Theo and I took Holden’s hand and we walked over to the fire together.  After a time I asked him if he would like to go play, and he said no. So there we sat together warming our hands and being ever so peaceful. This was new for Holden, slowing down and being with me, being ok to not be with his peers.  A milestone and tender beautiful moment.  Looking into his eyes and seeing his heart.

It was a day filled with a great deal yet so joyous. The rain is often thought of as a time to run away to the indoors yet, the children were easy about it all as were we and it was fun, enlivening and truly a Winter Wonderland.

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