Nicholas Scalise

Maple Sap Buckets

A late winter snowstorm descends upon Hubbard Park in Meriden.

Majestic, solid and rooted, the maple tree once again feels the snowflakes swirl around and pile upon its limbs.

Four feathered friends have sought shelter at its base. Sap buckets hang wobbly upon its massive trunk.

No matter; snow, ice, wind, or cold, the great maple tree quietly stands indifferent to the elements. Yet, it is amazingly adaptive to whatever conditions it encounters - waving its limbs in the wind or absorbing melting snow through its deep roots to produce thick sap, which later will be converted into maple syrup.  Its barnacled bark grows stronger year by year to support its massive growing trunk.

The tree freely shares its attributes with all who might gather close. In warmer months, birds build their nests in its branches and children climb high to explore its thicket of limbs. And in the fierce snowstorms of winter months, it shelters a variety of creatures. 

The maple’s beauty is unparalleled: its tiny green buds pop in early spring, its bold display of vibrant leaves change in the autumn.

Should it be cut down for its lumber, the maple does not suffer sadness or humiliation. It simply transforms into a different configuration. It may become the walls of a family’s home or slices of paper on a student’s school desk. 

What an amazing, wondrous creation the maple tree is! Beautiful, adaptable, life giving. To sit beneath the tree or run our hands along its rugged base, we might be surprised by its many lessons in life.

Rosann Scalise