I was thinking about that syrup business again this morning. It’s hard not to, when your kitchen table is full of gorgeous amber bottles and folks stop by for a bottle and a chat all during the day. This is a whole new phase of the Magical Sugaring Season.

But that’s not what grabbed my attention this time. It was the finishing process. That’s the time when the quality of the bubbles in the sap begins to change, and the surface looks a little bit different, and if you leave it right now you’ll have candy for sure.

Batch after batch I stood there, watching the bubbles blow up clearer and slower, gradually spreading across the pan. Every time this began a delightful excitement built inside of me. The syrup and I were communicating directly. I was in awe; it was telling me when to cut the heat and praise the miracle of syrup.

Thermometers are just fine, but I finally realized that it was one more piece of technology stuck there in between we two communicants. The sap and I, two different expressions of the Earth, talking with each other. We were right there in the same room. We didn’t need a telephone. And when I began to listen to the sap, and pay attention to my own ability to “hear” it, magic happened.

Every batch was just a hair different from the last as the days passed. This I never would have known if I’d stuck with the gadgets instead of letting the sap teach me. I find myself resisting the temptation to buy “more professional” doodads so we can produce more syrup so we can make more money so we can … hmmmm, what was it we wanted that money for again?

We are all teachers for each other, we marvelous amazing creations of God-through-Earth. What happened to us humans that we cut ourselves out of that great communion and began to rely on our own devices?


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