This first week of Heron Circle was filled with the bubbling energy that marks new beginnings. For our opening circle Darilynn reminded us of the original form and meaning of the Thanksgiving Address. We then went around the circle and each spoke for a different being we are thankful for, beginning with people and then moving up through the layers of the earth, from water and rock to plants, animals, trees, birds, sky, sun, moon, stars and the Great Mystery. In this way we brought our hearts and minds together as one. Then Wendy introduced a new song, “Can You Hear the Voices (of the Ancestors)” that spoke to the continuity of mountains, rivers flowing to the ocean, trees, and fire. After lunch we circled up for a game of West Wind Blows which flowed into a game of Fox and Geese. As we were winding down with this game, I heard one of the girls sing out “a storm is coming!” I looked to the west and saw a great stormy swathe of cloud and snow was moving rapidly eastward toward Burke park! We gathered together in awe of the rapidly shifting weather and bundled up to prepare. The sunny warm day became momentarily icy cold as the snow blew in from the West. Had we summoned the West Wind with our game? The snow died down again as we scattered around the park in twos and threes to begin our next activity: building miniature snow shelters! Sophie and Darilynn situated their shelter facing east to protect from the weather and invite animals in from the pond area. The 2 Claras built their structure in what they thought to be a nesting spot for birds and squirrels, building a roof of sticks that they then covered in snow and lining the inside of their structure with cattail fluff. Kaya, Teia, and Georgia also lined their houses with cattails. Georgia created a cattail weed garden and basement inside her house. Teia used a fallen branch as the ridge-pole for her house, leaning sticks against it for extra support. Kaya’s house became the peaceful final resting place for a mourning dove that had flown into her window at home. Daisy and Serena made a multi-purpose desk- cum-rabbit and mouse home. All these creations were beautiful potential houses for a variety of small animals that live around the pond. We shared our creations with each other and held a closing circle with Lorene, who had brought tea. The seven S’s of tea tasting revealed a licorice and osha root concoction! We sang “By this Tree I Sit” and the girls headed out to join their parents. In all, this was a great beginning to a magical and fun-filled season.