We’re in this together

Grandmother MapleThe sugaring season is upon us once again. This picture was taken two years ago in our first sugaring season. As Sr. HM tapped the first tree — one of the “grandmothers” — I grabbed the camera and took some shots of the blazing blue sky through the limbs of the maple above us.

That is the sight we frequently see during this season. The air is still winter-dry, so a clear day brings out that amazing color in the sky. During these months tree skeletons have been revealed, and each tree is unique. The maples have a beautiful bark pattern, and their limbs arch gracefully upward. I always think of a woman in still prayer, face and arms lifted to God.

This picture always brings back the excitement of our first sugaring season. The very first drops of sap, dripping steadily from the new tap, the sound of cold sap being added to the batch already boiling, skimming the foam from the surface of the hot sap, tasting my first cup of “maple tea” (drawn when about half the water has boiled off), the first unbelievably sweet spoonful of finished syrup, capping the first quart bottle, our first sale. All that and more rushes through my body — just by looking at this picture.

It is simply amazing how our senses are connected to our memories, and our memories to our senses. This picture, a visual stimulus, activates all the others: see the picture, remember the smell of maple-y moist air as I climb the kitchen stairs. And by “remember”, I mean that it seems I can actually smell that aroma. Our senses are connected, and they can come alive in memory when any one of them is stimulated. The smell-bone’s connected to the see-bone, the see-bone’s connection to the hear-bone … you get the idea.

This strong connection between our our memories and senses is but one of the infinite examples of what it means to be living in a Universe whose very nature is communal. There is no accident that “communion” is essential to our experience of God.

We are all — everything — one, together.

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