Maple sugaring - that's what we're doing right now - is an exciting mix of frenzied work and long hours which culminate in a deliciously satisfying reward of full-bodied maple syrup.
We excitedly anticipate it even though it leaves us exhausted at the end. In fact, when I add up all the time we spend on it, I’m not sure it even pays to do it.
But we, especially Bill, can’t stop because we are addicted - me to the taste of the syrup; Bill to the process of making it. He loves heading out to the cold, often snowy woods which inevitably turn to a thawing mess of wet slush and slippery mud before the trees bud out and the last of the sap is hauled up the logging road to come home. He transforms before my eyes. If winter represents a slower time of reflection and planning for warmer seasons, sugaring represents a jump-start to action. And Bill epitomizes it.
He isn’t averse to enjoying downtime in the winter. He becomes more sedentary. His beard gets scruffier with more white showing every year. He wants to go to bed as it gets dark (Really? You’re going to bed at 6:30?). I get a glimpse of the old man he’s just starting to become as he relaxes in his rocker.