Every Tuesday we begin our staff meeting with a moment of zen, which we define as a time to take a deep breath, praying that the Divine would somehow breathe in or through all that we do and say. Today Rosi Penner Kaufman offered the following moment of zen, paired with photos I took today, January 30, in our Rainbow Remembrance Garden.
Thank you, Rosi!
Maybe a bit sappy, but sunshine does that to me.
We used to have a sugar maple tree in front of our house. It was never a very robust tree, and an ice storm a few years ago damaged it to the point that we had to take it out. Before that, however, for several years we tapped the tree for maple syrup. Mitch and I took a trip to Vermont one year and our souvenir was a tree tap, so we figured we’d put it to use and it would be a good project to show the kids where syrup comes from. This is the time of year and the sort of weather that reminds me that it would be time to tap the tree: the days are getting incrementally longer and are above freezing, but the nights are still cold.
Sap rising in trees is a wonder of nature. Somehow, beneath the surface, the tree roots collect nutrients from the frozen ground and turn them into liquid that the tree pushes UPWARDS to the branches. How amazing is that? And the liquid doesn’t freeze. And it produces enough extra that we borrow some of the tree’s life force so we can put it on pancakes (after a bit of work – one gallon of sap produced about a cup of rather green tasting maple syrup).
Ruth’s comments about trees on Sunday brought this to my mind. I like to think of the wonder of that life force flowing upwards, especially when I sit in the Remembrance Garden and think of the saints remembered there. So take two minutes, close your eyes, put your feet on the ground, and consider the hidden strength, wonders, and memories held in the earth.