Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maple Sugar Time: Part Three

LinkDiscouraged but undefeated, Nicki and I drove north from the first, disappointing sugar camp to the next one on our festival list: the Foxworthy Sugar Camp. We drove through woods to get there: a good sign! When we pulled into the camp, we saw a cloud of steam arising from one of the outbuildings: another good sign! When we inquired at the little shop if any of the trees were being tapped today, we were told, "You just walked past two of them." And we had!

It was all perfect, EXACTLY the way Miracles on Maple Hill had led me to think it would be. Pails hung from trees, with sap dripping into them with agonizing slowness: drop by drop by drop. In the sweet-smelling steamy outbuilding where the sap was being boiled down into syrup, we were told that it takes SEVENTY GALLONS of sap dripped into the buckets drop by drop to make ONE GALLON of syrup.

If there was ever a metaphor for my faith that little things add up - an hour a day of writing, a page a day of writing - here it was. Every time for the rest of my life that I pour real maple syrup onto a piece of French toast, I will think about today: syrup as a distillation of tiny drops of sap accumulated into a vat filled with seventy gallons of sap to be boiled down into one gallon of syrup. A miracle, indeed.

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