First, the creek froze and then the snow came. An actual blizzard, even! The snow stayed, but the air warmed and the sun sat bright in a blue, blue sky. The sun helped the creek break free of its ice. But that great blanket of snow showed a very clear path right to the dragon tooth rock. The eddy that circles in front of the dragon tooth was spanned by a jumble of branches that must have come loose in the melt. Clumps of snow had collected on the lower bits.
As we left the forest, the group of children had to stop. They sat in a row on the bank. The adults left them to it. The children talked and argued. They shared ideas and considered their options. Standing back, we could only see their faces when they turned to one another. We could hear only parts of the conversation, words and phrases.
This is a precious time, this childhood in the snow under a blue sky. These children are treasures and they are experiencing something that we know holds value. Oh, it would be so lovely to move closer and hang on each word. We know that each word is like a jewel and this shared moment a cluster of diamonds. Their ideas have depth and insight, but mostly they have joy, and we can't even hear them!
We are close, but far enough that their chatter is only for their own ears. They nudge and jostle and point out different features of the snow path leading to the rock. They look up at the bridge (every class eventually arrives at the idea of rappelling over the side of the bike bridge). We could certainly, listen in and record these thoughts in their portfolios to mark one or more developmental milestones and cognitive leaps, but really, in our hearts we know that this moment is theirs.
To a one, the adults stay back. It is hard to do that, to stay back and away and let the children live in a world of their own, but they deserve this time, we owe them. We can walk away with what we know...this is theirs and theirs alone. We can hear more about it later, the story of what they shared will come through loud and clear.