“Wait… we didn’t DO school yesterday… or did we?” That’s what I heard two boys discussing today. I realized that they were trying to determine if what we did was school work because it seemed like they were just having a fun day.
We often “play” math. Learning multiplication tables with our version of “Go Multiplication Fish,” for example, or a game we co-created for learning math facts called “The Giant Slug.” A couple of boys, who find joy in explaining things are writing “how-to” manuals instead of doing their traditional handwriting books.
In this picture, we had just taken a silent hike. Each of the boys walked about 10 feet apart from each other. We each asked a question before the hike and then hiked silently as we “listened” for the answer. Here, they are writing and drawing their experience.
Right before we left for the hike, I was setting up the classroom for the next activity I had previously planned. Something inside me resisted. I listened. I said a silent prayer, “Give me something – what should we do?” And suddenly a thought appeared… “a walk, we’ll go for a walk.” I had been working, over the weekend, on a new unit about the Native American culture. I had not planned to start it that day, but as my request to the Infinite unraveled, it seemed as though we were starting NOW.
So, to make a long story short, our first hour of the new Unit was spent receiving a new name and spirit animal guide. The names would be names that bring out our highest potential, our dreams, our best self – a name that would teach us something good. We five, Trees Touching Sky, Eagle Claw, Lightening, Little Turkey, and Wolfero shared our experiences in our journals and then with each other.
The beautiful part of this story is that as we walked back up the trail, I told the boys that they did not have to be silent anymore. One boy asked another if he could play a game with him. That boy did not want to and walked on ahead. The first boy became upset when he saw that boy walk up to another boy and seemingly begin playing the game. As we neared the head of the trail, upset words broke out and tears began to well up in the accused one’s eyes.
“When we cross this line (and I drew a line in the dirt), we will be off the trail and back in our normal identities. Now, I know you two are friends, and it is sad to two friends upset, so can we sit here for a minute and work out this problem while we still are in our spirit names?” I asked. And all the boys sat down together and began discussing, what was plain for me to see, but not for them, a misunderstanding. Addressing each other in character took the edge off the hurt and frustration. The level of compassion and awareness was off the charts.
“Well, I’m mad because he said he did not want to play my game, but then went to Wolfero and started playing the same game I just asked him to play.”
“I think you did not hear what I said to Wolfero. Lightening, I’m sorry that you are feeling mad, but you are my friend and I would not hurt you on purpose. “
“It’s ok, Eagle Claw, I’m sorry too. S-rrrrre-eeee”
And they all giggled because he said it in a funny voice. We all started laughing from deep joy. Even the trees were laughing with us. And in front of my eyes, they all hugged! It was just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen and probably the easiest resolution to a misunderstanding we’ve ever had this year.
I’m so glad I listened to intuition and was conscious of the energy of the boys so that we could have this experience together.
We will be having more adventures before this unit is over… until then…