Th' Gang's all Here!
(all names have been changed to protect th' guilty)
"Th' Hessers just called," says Beth, "They wanna go rompin and stompin in th' woods with us."
"Great" I say, "We'll go check th' taps together. See what's goin on out there. Fynn, you ready to go drink some sweetwater?"
"Yeah!" He says, with bright eyes.
|Th' gang's all here|
Th' day is overcast but not so cold. It's a few days after we set th' taps. We haven't had that freezing night and warm day since we set them, but we do love playing in th' woods.
Th' driftwood and th' willows welcome us. Th' beavers let us know that this is their home. We see that, and will try to be respectful.
|sign of th' beaver|
|Willow with beaver teeth marks|
Marley finds th' first jug and shouts "Over here! I found one." And we all gather 'round.
"Looks like there's sap in there" I say. As I pull th' jug from th' tree, I am filled with that sensation of the unknown lying right at your fingertips. I've never tasted maple sap before, yet I hold th' jug in my hand.
I lift th' jug, let my nose observe the aroma, then pass th' jug to Beth for th' first tasting.
|first taste of maple sap|
"Wow" she says, "it tastes just like maple syrup, it's maple water. I thought it would be sticky and sappy. Yum."
She hands th' jug to me. I have a taste. "Wow" I say as well "it's good. That's th' best water filter on th' planet. Pure water, with a little sweetness added. Who's next?"
We pass th' jug around, and everyone gets a taste.
|Fynn's first maple water|
"Ok," I tell th' gang, "there's two more out here, and we've got ten more taps at home. Every one look closely at th' bark, and then we'll find ten more trees to tap."
The kids pick up on th' maples quick, and are soon finding them scattered throughout th' river valley.
For awhile we all run around exploring, picking up driftwood, throwing sticks and stones in th' water, looking for signs of spring.
Fynn finds a bouncy log. "Is that a trampoline." He says. Everyone is happy, playing, and looking content.
|Avi and Josiah|
|look over there!|
Danny watches our families with a smile of content, and Beth sits and let's th' kids run around. It is good to be close to the earth.
After a bit of playing, we've found ten more trees. Maples are like gold out here. I'm proud of th' kids for their identification skills. I know many adults who couldn't pick out a maple or a box elder in th' winter woods, but these kids did great. We have a look at another tap, it's dripping as we speak. This time th' kids just stick their mouths under and open wide.
We feel really good. I'll be out here soon setting th' rest of th' taps, and we'll all come collecting again. We take home about a half gallon of sweetwater, not enough to boil down, but enough to satisfy us. This time th' wood imparts it's peace to two families, instead of just one. True love is not containable, it pours upon you, rises through you, fills you and overflows to those around you.
|pure maple sap, in a suitable container.|
"Wait!" Danny says, as we're leaving, "I have to throw this log in th' river."
to be continued...