This time of year I want to share Maple Flower Essence with the entire world.
Some acquaintances donâ€™t bear close inspection very well, but the more time I spend with Maple, up close, hands on bark, maple steam in my face, roots beneath my boots, the more I love Maple. And the more I treasure it as a Flower Essence.
Right now, I could say all the things I have said before about Maple Flower Essence in the guide. How it helps us with issues of grounding. How it helps us find a centered place from which to express our feelings. How it helps us find a balance of an outward male dynamic of action and an inward female dynamic of reflection. How it crisps up our ability to do the vital work of being ourselves in the world with integrity. These things are all abundantly true and make Maple a fabulous, fabulous healing tool. But today, I particularly want to write about Maple and its Flower Essence as supportive in the all encompassing dynamic of self care.
I can get derailed into thinking I need something from some specific person or that other people can hurt me with their actions, even when the truth of the matter is that their actions have nothing to do with me and everything to do with their own learning.
Maple lifts me out of this tug of war of I need this from YOU and nobody else but YOU. Maple reminds me the real job of being in the world as a grown up is to figure out what I need to give myself to nourish and support my essential self and then give it to myself.
I donâ€™t mean going to a cave and cooking my own big game by myself while yelling SEE I DONâ€™T NEED YOU. I am thinking about more of a give and take process with me recognizing I need to talk about topic A and then thinking of a friend who also likes to talk about topic A versus demanding that someone with no interest in topic A listen to me because I have made them the designated person for listening to topic A. There is no flow in that approach whereas an honest assessment of what I need, how I can get it, and where it can come from leads to flowing like the Maple sap does. I see what part of me needs attention, see the easiest way to bring the sap to that part of myself, and then I do it.
Maples are such a profound example of this dynamic. For a start, a Maple tree nourishes all parts of itself with life giving sap. This sap flows everywhere in the tree from the tip of its roots to the top most bud. That sounds obvious even corny to mention, but it is significant. Do any of us take care of all our parts so thoroughly? I have a distinct tendency to neglect figurative and literal parts of myself. A Maple tree never does this.
Maple knows its own life is its calling. I have never met a Maple who wanted to be the tree next door. Maple puts all its energy into its own journey of self expression. This isnâ€™t to say a Maple doesnâ€™t enjoy offering shade, food, housing, sap, wisdom, or its Flower Essence to fellow travelers on this planet. I have always experienced Maple as extremely generous in its outpouring of support. However, Maple really isnâ€™t trying to be anything it is not. It knows it is enough. As I visit with wonderful Maple trees each day, this seems a ridiculous understatement. Maple is so much more than enough. But isnâ€™t that a lovely piece of self care that Maple rests in this truth.
Maples embrace a seasonal dynamic that has a period of inner quiet and dormancy followed by self expression from a restored place. After dormancy, Maples return to new life in a rhythm that is responsive to the world and its weather, but also true to each individual Mapleâ€™s own inner timing, needs, and purpose. From day to day, trees next to each other, even taps adjacent to each other give different amounts of sap. I have come to see each tree as an individual expression of Maple with its own unique journey back to new life.
Some modern sugarers put a vacuum pump on their plastic tubing to pull sap out of the tree whether it wants to give this sap or not. This seems like a gross violation of a Maple tree. Each Maple knows how to regulate its return from dormancy to an outward expression of itself. Heck, each Maple tree knows we need BOTH periods of dormancy and periods of external activity. If only humanity had anywhere near the same sense of balance as a Maple tree, what a leap forward that would be in terms of planetary self care!
This time of year the local paper prints many articles on the science of Maple sugaring. Various researchers at various sugar institutes speak about why a Maple behaves as it does. Then everyone in the sugarhouses all over the northeast talk about how Maples never behave like the articles say. I love this. Maples send the sap into their branches then back to their roots in a mysterious flow that resists analysis or human control. Yup, even those vacuum pumps canâ€™t pull sap out of a tree that isnâ€™t flowing. This is self care with attitude and I love it!
As I hug a Maple or work with Maple Flower Essence, I am reminded of my own natural outward and inward flow, my own inner rhythms, my own sweet life force that can fill every pore of my being. This time of year when I witness Mapleâ€™s wisdom close up each and every day, is it any wonder that no matter what you ask me, the answer that flows out of my mouth is Maple? I think not!