Tender Tracks Wed. Day 11

Nov. 28, 2018
Lake Lagunitas
Waning Moon

All were here and back from Holiday and Fires in warm and wonder-filled spirits. They came dressed and prepared for the rains of the day but…what, no rains???  That is right, all week long the weather report has been predicted for rain all week.  It just goes to show, learning to read the sky world is far better of an indicator than the weather report often times!

The day was cool to cold and back to cool and a perfect morning to make our first fire of the year and cook popcorn!!!  This year, for the first time, Tender Tracks got 2 gallon white buckets to be used for seats around the fire as well as anything else we can think of to use them for.  Buying such a thing was hard coming yet now that we are using them, well, they were a big hit, for all.  They could be considered  “open-ended toys!”

As we got out of the bus each child got their own bucket to carry to the fire pit and place around it and, so they did this.  With backpacks on the picnic table and bodies sitting on their buckets, I set up the fire material and told them a story about how fire came to be. It was actually Coyote trying to catch Rabbit. The faster Coyote chased Rabbit the faster they went. Faster, faster, faster, faster until they were a blur and then…..FIRE came and, that IS how it all began:)

And then, we sang the fire song that Coyote and Rabbit sang with hands and voice and the fire DID come. We built it up, then gave a magical wish and turn of the pot that the popcorn was in, put it on the campfire stove and waited for the first pop!  Some got tired of waiting and then came back to hear the music of corn kernels, oil, and fire dancing and singing as they do and then the popcorn pouring out of the popcorn maker!!

They each got their own bowl and ate up.  Interestingly this group ate so much less and/or was far less excited about eating popcorn than the Tues/Thurs class.  Every group is so very unique.  None the less they ate until they had enough, pee breaks and then play down by the water with the buckets.  They filled those buckets and brought them over to put out the fire as well as fill up the other creeklets nearby.  It was very impressive how well they all did.

Beau during this time however was quite tired and he and I stayed together just snuggling and seeing the world. It started because he really ! didn’t want to put the plastic bags over his new dry socks that needed to go into his very wet boots.  Why were his boots wet you might ask? Well, he decided to walk across the creek and discovered that it was a bit deeper than expected. 🙁  So, we snuggled and finally got his boot on WITH the plastic bags and he made it through the rest of the day.   Addie was fine today ACCEPT she did not like her beautiful brand new rain coat.  She did keep it on however as well as the rain suit.  Ellie was fine with her rain suit until close to the end of the day where she announced she didn’t like it. I took off her hood and unzipped it a bit and, all seemed to be well after that adjustment.  Nathan was one big happy camper and loved playing with Rohin and Beau.  Sienna too was happy and delighted with all that we were doing.  At lunch time she got a little cold and saw where the Sun was shining through.  “I want to go over there after lunch,” she said.  And so, when she packed everything up off we went to find the sun. One by one the others followed. We played some games, sat in the sun and I played them some familiar songs on my flute that I carry in my pack.
Ellery was not feeling well today it seemed with a stuffy nose and very, very sensitive throughout the day.  She looked and sounded like she was getting sick or very tired.  Rohin was happy as well as really learning about what it means to walk on the OUTSIDE of the circle not the INSIDE.  He has been struggling with this so we sang a little song to help and he is beginning to understand inside and outside in the context of CIRCLE.  And Gideon, well, Gideon LOVED the water, as per usual, yet he really did NOT like his hands dirty. So we spent some time with that and noticing what it is like at home and his other school where washing hands is easier  and how we do it at Tender Tracks. Which truly is a very different thing.

What we saw today was that this was the children’s first day of true discomforts. Discomfort with bulky clothes, water on the ground, wet and dirty hands, needing to be more mindful of eating since we were sitting on buckets and the food was low and more along those veins.

The blessings and wonders of the “Dark side of the year” are upon us and with them come great opportunities to build resilience, problem solving, postponement gratification and I CAN DO IT moments.

We had changing parties after the bucket brigade too which is part of our fall/winter time “curriculum.”  Some of the children thought they were wet because there was some wet on their rain suits but in truth, underneath they were not.

When we got in the bus it was clear that all this newness brought well earned tiredness.  Ruby drove and I played the Kalimba, sang some gentle quieting songs with that and then went into a sleepy and dreamy tale where one by one they closed their eyes, either because they actually fell asleep or because they were following the story and enjoying resting their eyes. Nathan saw the other children with their eyes closed and wanted to follow them so he tightened up his eyes, tilted his head like he saw his friends Beau and Ellery do and now and again he would open them up, adjust his body and close them shut to match his friends. Rohin just watched everyone like Nelly but Sienna rested her eyes shut. The ones that actually did fall asleep were Addie, Ellery and Beau.

Such a wonder filled first day back.

And oh yes, during lunch I shared a book with them about Mr. Krinkleroot.  He tracks all sorts of animals. There were pictures of lot’s of tracks.  I went in and out of personal stories as well as Mr. Krinkelroots tales. My focus: to show them pictures of tracks to lay the ground work for tracking animals and sign.


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