We talk a lot in our house (& our car, as we spend gross amounts of time there) about how God made everything.
“Let’s talk about how God made everything, mama” Sparrow will say. “Okay, Sporty. What do you want to say about that?” I’ll ask. And because Andy & I prefer to comprehend the incomprehendable process of creating the world using the image of God singing everything into existence (C.S. Lewis style), she will launch into a detailed explanation of how He sang into a hole and it became Lake Superior, into the sky and there were stars, at the ground, making grass and into maple trees, thereby making syrup.
Or at least sap.
Northern Minnesota has many perks. And maple trees are one of them. Maple syruping is a great (and maybe the only) excuse for being out of doors this time of year. While the world is stuck in its awkward teenage phase between winter and spring, time spent outside is typically, and mostly, lame. Ice predominates with unwanted snowfalls and wind rounding out the reign of April in Cook County, MN. You can have idealistic plans for outdoor adventure but they never come to fruition, unless, of course, your idealistic plans involve post-holing (cruising along on top of the snow pack only to suddenly break through up to your groin) and ungraceful biffs on slick roads.
But all that goes out the window when the promise of pancakes and coffee and tea and seltzer water and roasted pears and ice cream and spoons dosed with maple syrup loom before you in the form of a stand of maple trees. Suddenly, outside seems like a really good idea.
And so, my can’t-sit-still husband, along with his similiarly wired friend, Woody, on a whim, decided to buy tree taps and sap traps. Two days later, a box far too heavy for me to lift materialized in my car at midnight (our UPS driver delivers very late and always in the car). One day later, Andy & Woody had tapped 53 maple trees and 27 mountain ash trees. One day after that, they untapped 27 mountain ash and tapped 27 new maples.
And so it began.
So that, suddenly, every night at prayer time, we are thanking God for the song He sang to the maple tree. The tune that filled them with sweet sap. The one you can still hear when you’re standing there, in the maple stand, with two full jugs of sap in your hands. You have to be quiet. But you can hear it. It sounds like love. Deep, creative, magical Love.
**More pictures of the “sugar bush” where all the magic happens forthcoming. We’ve been so busy sapping, we haven’t been snapping.