Five (or Six) Senses Friday

Okay, does anyone here remember FSF? I had to search back nearly two years to find my last post! Well, I’m bringing it back. Like, right now. It may be past midnight, with C still down the road working the last sap boil of the sugaring season (for us, anyway), and I may have stayed up too late to make maple marshmallows for a certain freshly-eight-years-old sort of person who wants to have a s’mores party, BUT it’s still Friday somewhere, so here goes, and in case you don’t remember:

FSF is a weekly ritual of sensual reflection. Play along if you wish, in the comments or link to your own blog. What is striking your senses this week?


Hearing: Drip, drip, drip. The last of the snow and ice have melted off the roof this week. The sound of Winter’s grip finally, really and truly letting go is a glorious thing, even more so than the return of myriad melodic bird sounds. Fact.


Smelling: Sweet, sticky steam. The last hurrah…until next year, of course. Really, there is nothing like a maple steam facial. It doesn’t exactly clear the sinuses, but it’s happy-making. Another fact.

Tasting: Some of the last of our summer-in-a-jar. Tomatoes, peaches…all must go, so they are making heavy appearances in our cooking lately. My body is growing tired of our winter cache and craves the first greens. Soon!

Seeing: The miracle of Springtime. Just when I think I can’t handle the white and brown for a moment longer, I nearly crush a bright green clump of bulbs just emerging (they weren’t there yesterday!), or see that the amaranth has germinated and magenta stems are reaching up towards the strengthening sun, such a treat for my color-starved eyes.



Touching: Fiber. It’s been a while since I really wanted to. I have the opportunity to work on a really fun project (more on that soon!), and it’s been wonderful to make friends with my wheel again. This is a good thing.

Feeling: Hopeful and energized, increasingly so as Winter retreats. I’m making lists and plans.

What’s happening with you?


Liquid Gold

The first day of Spring came and went, drenched in a thick blanket of fresh fallen snow.

It was only the week before we were basking in warm days, a whole string of them, our ears filled with the sounds of melting snow and the drip, drip, drip of sap into the buckets, while brown patches of earth began to emerge.


We collected sweet sap all through that blissfully warm week, and through the pain of mid-week news that broke our hearts. A bright little light in our circle of friends had faded from the earth, leaving behind a deeply grieving community, a mother and father walking the most difficult path of letting go, a path my heart rebels against even imagining.

As the sap boiled, I watched it go from clear to golden, and then to the characteristic rich caramel brown, where it stayed as we waited for it to reach the perfect temperature. I noted how quickly the change occurred, from gold to brown. It looks like liquid sunshine for just a few minutes.

On Monday, my friend wrote that her son’s light had been so strong in life, that now he is gold. In the sunlight rippling on the water, in the return of every dawn, we can behold his brilliant golden light for just a few precious moments.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-Robert Frost


And here is my liquid gold, now maple-y brown. I will always let the sweetness linger on my tongue, a reminder that nothing precious to us will stay forever. Every breath in and every breath out is an opportunity to honor the beauty of the present moment, because all we can truly hold onto is right now.

Eleven: 52





the 52 project
Portraits of my main squeezes, every Sunday.

O, this week you…

…were a total wildman. The picture above was taken at bedtime, and represents the Energy That Would Not Quit which has possessed you for several days straight, and well into the night. Am wondering if you have a secret stash of chocolate-covered espresso beans, or something just as magical, that I should know about.*

…could summon the calm in those moments when Papa and I struggled with very hard news and powerful feelings of sadness. Thank you for that.

…made a huge leap in your reading. It was exciting and you were so proud of yourself!

…were excited about the signs of Spring popping up in our little world, even though the temperatures have reverted back to Winter chill. You couldn’t help running outdoors without enough clothes on because it just looks so warm and inviting. I have to admit, just seeing the sun out after so many weeks of cloud cover made me feel warm from the inside out, too.

C, this week you…

…were smoldering in the maple steam.

…couldn’t resist filling the whole kitchen with more and more seed trays. I wish you could get paid to create the bountiful garden you envision. You would be so happy.

*And if you do, can I have some? I need an infusion of your seemingly boundless energy right about now.

Ten: 52



the 52 project
Portraits of my main squeezes, every Sunday.

O, this week you…

…are embracing the March thaw like a boss. You are a total mud monster, a devoted slush stomper and a lover of puddles, drips, drops and sludge.

…extended your helping hands so many times, especially when I really needed an extra pair. You rock a vacuum, son. Thank you.

…proudly served biscuits in a beautiful bowl you made with your own hands! It’s rare you go three-dimensional with your artwork and even though you were so wary of taking the class, I can tell you are pleased with what you accomplished.

C, this week you…

…started seeds for some of my favorite things. I love to watch your hands work. Your sense of fulfillment when working soil under your fingernails is palpable. So excited for what we will create in the gardens together this summer.

…came home with the most delicious golden maple syrup from the boil tonight, the result of many hours tending. And then you finished the dishes while I wrote this, even though you were exhausted. Sigh.

Nine: 52





the 52 project
Portraits of my main squeezes, every Sunday.


O, this week you…

…had major insomnia, which was hard on all of us. Let’s get back to making that Bedtime Tea, okay buddy?

…learned how to crochet and are working on a super-secret project for someone special. I was amazed at how quickly you picked it up. You proclaim to “hate” knitting, but when I told you about the sculptural possibilities of freeform crochet, you were intrigued.

…helped Papa tap more of the maple trees. You love sticking your tongue under the spile and catching the first drops of sap before he places the bucket. I gave you a cupful to drink and you practically swooned with delight.


C, this week you…

…might totally hate this picture, but I totally love it. A little family walk up the road turned into the best snowball fight ever. We had so much ridiculous fun and you, sir, are adorable. O is behind that tree and just pegged you. Ha!

…made grand plans for brewing some maple sap beer. Fingers crossed for an abundant sugaring season!