It is the quiet hours after , Day 2.
I could not find the inner space to write before we opened and I don’t know why. There is a German phrase, "Aller Anfang ist schwer." : "All beginnings are difficult."
Who wants an audience while taking those first few uncertain steps?
There are no practice runs behind closed doors here.
One day and 12 kids later, Rosetta and I looked at each other, puzzled, and said, "That was so easy. Piece of cake."
Two days and fourteen kids later, we sighed and said, "We're doing great but we need to keep thinking this through."
It seems despite, or maybe because of, the fact that we are both crazy, hair-brained schemers: wide-eyed opened-eyed dreamers who actually think we can accomplish what we dream of... so far it has worked! We have had friends and families joining in who are excited and gifted and ready to put in a day, a morning, an afternoon, share thoughts, bring concerns, pull poison ivy, sort books, drink wine, laugh and affirm, "This is amazing." "You're doing phenomonally." "It feels so great to be here." And it's happening. My children at the table tonight said, "I can't believe how amazing it is that all our dreams could come true." That's a nice legacy to be passing on.
Another mother picking up her children today was greeted with, "Mom, that was the best ever!"
The mother said her children had been wanting to go to school so, "they could eat in a cafeteria and have recess."
All they *really* did here was play in the sunshine all day and eat another amazing Rosetta meal fresh from the kitchen. I think we have cafeteria and recess covered at least - and hopefully a good bit more. Here's the list compiling after two days:
Cleared out the woods overgrown around the outdoor stove, which will be used for subsequent meals.
Discovered that we were pulling Japanese bittersweet vines and stripped and saved them to handweave a vine basket this week.
Made Fresh Vegetable soup and kid-rolled chapati's
Children defined rules, boundaries and need for respect, drew up a charter and map of the house and property
Drew and designed with crayons, chalk, scissors and other tools in the handbox of creativity
Identified the flowers in the spring meadow. Discovered heal-all, plantain, forget-me-not and rhodedendrons – found out we could cook heal-all in our soup or use it in a compress to heal a cut.
Hanifa came to help: a kind, loving, hovering, assertive Serbo-Albanian "grandma" who made the children eat their soup ("what do you mean you don't like it? Here. It is good food!" And the kids ate it); who told stories of being in refugee camps with 6 children, one of them 2 months old, and of how she was given asylum in the USA. She swept the porch more times in one day than I have in a month.
Went for a long attentive walk in the woods, indentified woodland flowers, wild mushrooms,newly hatched litters of millipedes and found a site to build a temporary woodland shelter
Read books and practiced reading with interested children
Sang "Yellow Submarine" with i-tunes at the top of our lungs
Got the salt-water aquarium set up and running: all ready for the seahorses and starfish
Set up the trampoline
Had a session with a wholistic animal attendant who will be volunteering at the farm
Made homemade play-dough
Involved and evolved impromptu games
walked the ponies
and ate some more food today.
The children have hardly been inside at all.
And now a thunderstorm.
We are tired. But a happy good tired.