Even though I live in a small little city, I’m a huge country-girl at heart and loved growing up in the country. I’m especially fond of all the country things that my father taught us and my favorite was our frequent walks in the woods. Getting in touch with nature. When you live in the woods, you make the forest your playground. Your science lab. Your jungle gym. Your field trips. Your everything.
This time of the year, makes me really miss the country life. As the snow is melting, the days are getting warmer and longer, and this would be the time that my dad would take us out to tap the trees. It’s funny, when I tell my city friends this, they honestly have no clue what I am even talking about. They look at me like I have three heads. But tapping trees was always so much fun, and I just thought it was a part of everyone’s childhood.
This is when the forest became our science lab, and I loved every minute of it. The sound of the forest waking up after the long cold winter. The smell of the melting trees. The sound of sap dripping into the bucket. These were all my signs of Spring. It always mystified me that trees could produce such a sweet nectar from deep inside their core.
My dad, my brother and I would set out with a drill to make a hole deep into the Maple tree’s center, and then we would put a bucket under the pipe that we hammered into the tree to capture its sap. Patiently we would wait for the sunny days to go fetch our collection of sugar from the sap that these trees produce. Then we would boil it down until it becomes the delicious brown liquid that makes anyone’s mouth water in delight.
This year, as we celebrate the arrival of Spring, and are enjoying the longer, warmer days, it makes me miss my tree tapping days. But I love how nature mimics our lives as humans. We too have a sweet core, just like the Maple trees. We too need to be tapped into to truly enjoy our sweet souls.
With many of us, we only see people’s exterior, just like we only see the tree’s exterior and aren’t exposed to the sweet nectar that is inside each and every one of us. Sometimes we judge people by their appearance, what they may say to us or how they may act. Often times we form impressions of people from what other people may tell us about them.
On many occasions we form assumptions on why people act the way they act or do the things they do. We can’t “tap” into humans like we can a tree. We can’t see how people are feeling, or understand why people are acting the way they are. All we have to remember is that, just like a tree, we all have a very sugar and sweet inside…we all have a sweet soul. Even if most people can’t see it. It is there. Maybe it only comes out in the spring, with the sun shining on them, but it is there and we shouldn’t judge or condemn anyone for their behavior. They are being the best they know how to be for the time and situation of their lives.
As hard as it is to find the sweet “sappy” souls in some people, I would love for you all to try. We are all created equal, and I truly believe we are all good people, even if some of us hide our sugary souls really well. I’m trying hard to “tap” into everyone and understand that not everyone has the same amount of sap inside of them. Some of us may have a litre of sap and other of us may have 10 litres of sap inside of us. Not every tree will give you the same amount of sap. Some trees are tapped out some years.
I’m especially trying hard not to gossip about people and their sap. I’m reading a good book by Alberto Villoldo called “Illumination Process” and he really opened my eyes about gossiping. He says, “We all love to be on the inside track of the latest bit of gossip but be mindful: even listening to gossip is participating in an act of violence against the person you are hearing about.”
Wow! When I read that, it really stopped me in my tracks. I’ve been trying hard to get rid of this part of my life, to free myself from this karmic wheel, but when he put it this way, I really have to go back to the drawing board.
I love the quote from Buddha, “Gossip dies when it hits a wise person’s ears.” I want to be that wise person! I want to remind myself that we can’t “tap” into anyone, and we don’t know what is going on, on the inside of other people, nor should we think or assume we know. All we have to know is, that there is pure sweetness deep inside the core and soul of every human being.
If only we could “tap” into people and taste everyone’s inner sweetness, then we could understand people better. Sadly, this isn’t at all possible, but the way we act towards people, is something we can all tap into. My rule of thumb is another quote from Buddha, “If you propose to speak always ask yourself: is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.” This way, you will only “tap” into the pure sweet center of yourself and show the world, the sweet, amazing nectar that lives inside of you!