Read Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine Issue 11 | March 2017 - Page 51

In March my mind always wanders back to the peaceful country town I once lived in where I found myself a part of the soil and the seasons along with the flowers and vegetables. My life there taught me a great many lessons about growing up, growing older, and growing in grace. Nature has a way of doing that to us, and what better time than when the snow starts melting and the pussy willows start to peak out!

Every year when I thought I could not go through one more cold, grey, March day, when I felt like it was all I could do to drag one foot in front of the other, I would wake up one morning to the sight of those shiny, silver pails nailed to the trees outside of my home. Yes! The sap was rising! That was the official sign that spring was only a few weeks away. I can remember pulling on my boots and coat and walking around the village peeking into the pails. Drip by drip the pails would fill.

Day after day folks would come around in an open bed truck and empty the pails into big drums that they took back to the little building on the river bank affectionately known as The Sugar Shack. There, day in and day out, 24 hours a day, the locals would do what their fathers and grandfathers before them had done for generations: build a roaring fire under the vats of sap and keep it going until all of that wonderful nectar had transformed into luscious, golden maple syrup. The smell from the chimney of The Sugar Shack could be inhaled all over the village and it was only the strongest among us who could resist the need to head down to the local diner for a short stack of pancakes dripping with butter and our very own maple syrup. Sitting back with a hot mug of coffee in hand, the phrase, "life is good," really took on meaning.

As we grow older, we come to a point when the kids are gone, the job is gone (or soon to be), and we are merely going through the motions, dragging one foot in front of the other because we just can’t see an acceptable alternative. Then one day we feel a shift, a subtle movement ... our sap is starting to rise. Not a lot at first, but little by little something is rising inside of us that needs to come out: an idea, a new awareness, a knowing. Drip by drip it starts to take shape. Sooner or later we wake up knowing that the pail is finally full and it is time to make it into something to nourish our souls.

Perhaps we are just tired of being tired. Pull on your hat and coat and take a walk! Feel the crispness of the air, Breathe in life! Get your whole body into it! Or, maybe certain phrases or words keep rising to the surface of your consciousness … the beginnings of a book, perhaps? Or a song? Do colors suddenly seem to jump out at you, and do you imagine how you might paint that tree, that bird, that cloud? Get yourself a set of kids’ paints from the store and let it flow. Don’t let that sap get backed up. You need to tap into that creative fluid and let it flow.

It is officially Spring. The buds are on the trees. The robins have come back. A new life is being born, maybe the one that was always there but just never got” cooked” long enough until it was done. Now the question is, will you bottle it up and put it on the shelf, or will you pour it out for all the world to enjoy?

Isn't it time to sit back with that cup of coffee, smack your lips, and declare, "life is good”?

Sap Rising

by Barb Parcells

Sap Rising