We lit the fire under the maple sap pan on Friday, and after three days of cooking our first 200 gallons of sap have now been reduced to ~4 gallons of syrup.  We still have at least one more cooking session ahead of us, but the weather will determine how much more sap we can collect.
     We also planted some of the brassica family on Saturday night (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, and Cabbage).  The brassicas will grow in flats a few weeks and then be planted in the garden at the same time as the onions.
      The rhythm of these annual events provides a deep sense of comfort and meaning.  That is not to say, of course, that the whole process is romanticized.  There is nothing romantic about splitting wood and stoking the fire when you are cold and tired.  Or planting flats of seeds after your dinner guests have said goodbye and your eyes are drooping.  The meaning comes not from a romanticized view of these tasks, but in being present with the daily and yearly rhythm of performing them.  The comfort comes from seeing both the details of the moment and where it fits in to the overarching flow of things.  And also, there is something deeply satisfying about a piece of wood that splits perfectly into what we like to call “chair legs.”

Darwin and Chris out collecting sap   The sap pan over the fire.   Darwin and Carol cooking sap.