A Tribute to Spring: May your Sap run Strong & Sweet (*A "good luck" saying between Sugar Makers)
Spring is about the collective birth. Spring is the season when the power of renewal, rebirth, and revitalization is available for all of creation.
“Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself. At the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness. At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, trees are bare and all [potential] lies in stillness beneath blankets of snow.” (Gary Zukav)
As Winter turns to Spring, the tree sap rises.
Tree sap is fluid transported in xylem tubes or phloem cells of a tree. Xylem sap which consists primarily of water, along with hormones, minerals and nutrients, moves from roots towards leaves. Phloem sap, consisting primarily of water, in addition to sugars, hormones and mineral elements, flows from where carbohydrates are produced or stored, to where they are used.
Phloem sap is nutrient-rich, compared with many other plant products, and generally lacking in toxins and feeding deterrents. It therefore consumed as the sole diet by a range of animals. Furthermore, many products are created from sap. For instance, maple syrup is produced from xylem sap, through the tapping of maple trees and then the boiling of the sap – evaporating the water and yielding concentrated syrup.
Hidden deep beneath the root surface, sap is the potential action behind the scenes – the wheels of motion turning in the bowels of the underground; passivity turning to proactivity and creativity. Yet, while we don’t actually see the tree sap rising, we believe it to be true. For in the coming weeks, new life will be sown into the earth’s belly; the trees will blossom; the potential for growth will come to revealed fruition. And, until that new growth is born, the tree sap also serves its own dual purpose – by feeding a range of animals, and by being the root source of a number of products.
We trust. We are strong. We are patient. For “the trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” (Moliere)
We believe what we don’t see. We let go. We let G-d. The universe is at work. The earth, so rich, so real, and so full of integrity, is in process. We are centered at its core, where roots are grounded without storm or struggle.
The sun shines. The rain falls.
And then, the trees – they bloom, they blossom, they grow, they flourish, they bear fruit.
So, “if you would [like to] know [faith,] strength and patience, welcome the company of trees” (Hal Borland). For, “man is a tree of the field” (Deuteronomy 20:19).
In Spring, all of mankind is granted a new lease on life, a sweet sap that slowly rises, marking man’s potential for the coming year. It is a season that sparks creativity, entrepreneurial ideas, self-growth, and visions of strategic leadership.
Spring provides the key to the intelligence that is then unlocked and manifested in the coming months. If channeled and nurtured appropriately, this sweet sap will lead to fruition – ideas that are born; projects that are fostered; relationships that blossom; leaders who rise; businesses that flourish; self-growth and actualization, and blooming health.
But, when we stand at the end of Winter and in the early months of Spring, we do not always see or understand the potential, and that which it may yield. We do not see signs of the rising sap. We do not see the miracles and redemption that lie in the months ahead. We may feel apathetic. We may feel cold. We may feel burnt out. So, this is when we call upon the trees to teach us the three key attributes of faith, strength, and patience. For in those moments, we are taught faith – to trust that there is so much blessing occurring on the root level, beneath the surface, beyond that which meets the eye; we are taught strength – to stand strong despite the cold feelings of apathy and darkness, and to reach high, to forge on ahead, for the sunlight is so near; and we are taught patience – to wait patiently because the best fruit will be born through the slow, steady, and sometimes painful process.
Spring is the notification of the good to come. It is the spark of potential. It is the good concealed. The good itself will only be revealed thereafter, through faith, strength, and patience. Yet, at the time that we are notified of the upcoming positive happening, we are already then inspired to believe, to be strong, and to wait earnestly for the happy event. It is therefore the good news too that serves its own purpose, like the rising sap that in the interim feeds animals and sources production, until the ultimate blossoming of the trees. Thus the good news is also an end in itself – feeding, fostering, and inspiring the three key attributes, in order to herald in the actual good and the full bloom in a revealed manner.
“The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of good, the beautiful, and the ennobling in man, and for one, I wish to see it become universal.” (Julius Sterling Morton)
With Spring, Serenity, and Shalom…
Until next time…