We are seeing the end of the flowing sap on the close horizon here in the Northeast from the beautiful and benevolent Maple Trees. Folks have been out on the land working hard, carrying heavy buckets filled with sap. Spending many an hour stoking the hot fires in makeshift and permanent sugar shacks across the region. To boil it all down to golden syrupy goodness. I feel such gratitude for the gift of the maple trees – its signaling of the Spring season and the reminder of the uncountable tangible and intangible forms of sustenance this wonderful earth provides. It reminds me that it is imperative to give back – this can’t be a one-sided relationship. They don’t really work, do they? And so, to someone who can say it much better than I can.

Robin Wall Kimmerer:
“The Honorable Harvest asks us to give back, in reciprocity, for what we have been given. Reciprocity helps resolve the moral tension of taking a life by giving in return something of value that sustains the ones who sustain us. One of our responsibilities as human people is to find ways to enter into reciprocity with the more-than-human world. We can do it through gratitude, through ceremony, through land stewardship, science, art, and in everyday acts of practical reverence.”
-from Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

I work for Seed Systems and right outside my office window is Sara and Joe’s sugar shack, built by Joe himself, where they boil down the sap collected from 188 taps on 100 trees into the sweetest of sweet Maple Syrup.