the gallery on display last week was gone,
and the Sun and air was sweeping up,
clearing the way for the next show.
So what we saw was transitional:
large plates of ice keeled up on mounds of thawing sand,
and last week's crystal balls were shrunken and sunken in the sand-snow mix.
But here's the thing,
if you touched the crystal balls with the toe of your boot,
and gave a small input of energy,
they would splinter!
Splinter into crystal shards,
sparkling in the sunshine,
like jewelry set out for display.
And the ice plates,
sweating water below,
if you stood on them,
even the smallest and lightest of our kids,
and gave a tiny bounce,
the plates collapsed with the most satisfying and thorough disintegration.
And there were thousands and thousands of these plates for our kids to test.
Inevitably, some had water below, deep enough to go over their boots
and produce shocked shrieks of surprise.
I was corralling a group of kids straying too close to the fissured ice that would eventually cave into the lake.
We were near the north end of the shore and the natural (dune) area.
A man was approaching us from the fence line,
hurrying, without testing the ice he stepped on.
At one point he broke through,
and went in knee deep.
He motioned to us,
and mouthed the words:
"Snowy Owl! Please stay quiet, don't move."
I turned to tell the kids.
They quickly turned towards shore,
the ice broke beneath them,
a giant, beautiful Snowy Owl took off over the Lake,
circling against the blue sky and green water and headed back to shore,
a hundred yards north.
It was like that,
surprising things lurking, always.
Monday morning we start perfomances of:
"The Legend of Snake and Turtle",
a play that is acted out by 1st graders and performed for Kinder, 1st grade and 8th grade. It tells the story of our school's place history.
A short 120 years ago the school grounds were a wetlands,
with the Chicago River loitering through it, making its way to Lake Chicago.
Around 1906 the North Shore Channel was dug,
and the spoils were pumped over two block to silt in the old stream and wetlands.
All the previous ecology vanished in a moment, including our protagonists Snake and Turtle. The aim of the play is to tell the story, and enlist the help of our kinder-kids and 1st graders to protect the Snake and Turtle effigy mounds, and the gardens around them.
The Kinder performances are on Monday morning between 9:30 and 11:00.
The First Grade performances are on Wednesday afternoon, 1:30 till 3:00.
We mostly have this thing under control,
but if anyone would like to assist supervising our 6 actors,
as I set up the stage in each room,
and prepare the classes,
oh, that would be very good!
On Tuesday, January 30, 5th Grade Room 307 Mighty Acorns are off to Sauganash
to cut brush and explore the space in Winter. We leave at 9:30, and are back by 1:00.
Volunteers are invited to meet at the Fish tank at 9:00.
On Wednesday January 31, 5th Grade Room 308 Mighty Acorns repeat the above trip,
the same times.
On Thursday, February 1, 4th Grade Room 209 Mighty Acorns repeat the above trip,
the same times.
On Friday we rest!
On Saturday February 3,
Riverbank Neighbors will hold its MidWinter Gathering in the Waters Green Wing Annex.
RBNs connection with Waters started in the last Century, in 1994!
Riverbank restoration and the Waters School Gardens are sister sites
involving the two communities in a huge Venn diagram overlap.
The event starts at 10:00 and finishes at 1:00.
Find flyer with description of our activities here.
Please join us!