Maple Weekend

Savoring the sweetness of spring in Central New York

Poem by Terry Rainey. Photos by Sue Smith Romero

We park in the muddy driveway, Navigate puddles on our way to the barn, Guided by Tibbitts, an apt name for a woodsman, Waiting for maple sap to flow, one drip at a time. His seven year old grandson Konner proudly Offers pieces of maple cotton candy, Fluffy clouds of nature’s kisses, Spun from the tubes outside - 15 miles of conduit! We learn from the Tibbittses that Syrup is a slow progress, spring’s Warmer air gently urging The fragrant leak of sweet liquid. The older generation’s tools hang on the wall Like trophies, affectionately labeled “Grandfather and Friends.” Thirty pound buckets, Weatherbeaten pails, hand-operated drills, and spiles. Spiles, either metal (old) or plastic (new), About the size of your small finger, Pierce tree trunks, like nurses taking blood, Gently tapping the gratifying flow. Nature offers its sweet liquid easily, Abetted by the deep patience of the Tibbitts’ family, Generations marked by the accrued Wisdom of waiting for winter’s thaw, And the steady passage of maple sweetness. Sometimes things come on just right, but slowly, And the faithful remain patient and trusting In eventual spring, and its shared religion of warmth.


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