the air smells sweet

Ok. So, maybe the air down by the dairy yard isn't that sweet, especially as you walk up the hill towards the pigs, but there is a sweet smell in the air all around Main House. The end of February/beginning of March means two things at the Farm. 1. The Farm Winter Olympics (which unlike the world olympics, is a yearly event here). For more on this event, please see my last entry. And 2. Maple syrup time! Reason #2 is why the air smells so sweet.
The team that takes care of the forestry and grounds around the Farm began tapping trees a week or two ago and has already begun collecting the fruits of their labor. And today I enjoyed some of said fruits. I stopped by the Sugar Shack--where the sap is being boiled in various vats of various consistencies; which in the end turn out our DELICIOUS maple syrup--to check on the progress of our sap/syrup, but also for a cup of our famous Farm sap tea. Sap tea is basically hot sap--which is not quite syrup yet--which is then mixed with Farm cream and consumed hot. It is one of the richest things I have ever had, but something that is must every sap season.
I sat and watched as our neighbor Rick fed the fire below the vats of boiling sap, marveling at how the sap can be a metaphor for what the Farm does to us, if we allow it: we are taken in as we are found; we are put over metaphorical pressure cookers everyday, being challenged in our jobs; and then there is this sweet reward in the end. Oh, I'm not unrealistic. I know that our work at the Farm doesn't always result in fairy tale endings, but in all of our struggles we, like the sap, transform into something different, something more clarified.
Life is good.

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