All posts by Molly

The Stop and Start of Spring (and these Times)

Spring comes slowly here. Days of spitting snow flurries and chill winds predominate. This makes the moments of sun and warm feel very precious. My heart sings when the pussy willows arrive or an early spring Flower rises up through nearly frozen ground.

The stop and start quality of Spring serves me, much as I don’t like it. When we have a rare string of moderate Spring days, I get a little carried away, wanting to pull up every last clump of crab grass in acres of flower beds. I act as if all garden tasks must be addressed on the first day the earth is thawed. Fortunately the fluctuations in the weather mean I can usually do only a bit of weeding then I must wait for another thaw (and rest, which is usually always needed).

I can’t prune all the fruit trees at once either because, most days it’s bitter cold up in the their branches. Arctic wind on the ground only feels worse when ten feet off the ground. I must prune one tree at a time when the conditions are kind and I can hold the clippers without my mittened hands freezing. This slow pace is fine for the trees. It’s just me that is impatient. Right now I have one tree left, a Paula Red apple down where the new beehives settled in last summer. The tree is perfectly content to wait for the next warmish moment.

If I lived in Bermuda perhaps it would be the heat of summer that would stop my garden roll and get me to rest. Here it is the extremes of weather that are my built in braking system. Like today. I went out and weeded the asparagus then sifted a load of compost then put a fresh layer of this lovely rich soil on the whole bed. A stiff wind encouraged me to conclude that was enough.

This year of constraint has been like a northern new England Spring. My tendency to push has been reined in. What I would really like right now is the freedom to do A LOT of everything I want to do in a sea of possibilities. I guess we all want that. But life has other plans for us right now. I don’t know why, and I don’t know for how long. But like northern New England Springs, I am trying to accept the tempo of this time and enjoy the windows of sunlight and warmth. In other words, I’m trying to be more patient, more able to go with the flow, less likely to push the river.

Some days go better than others! How about for you?

Energetic Housecleaning

A dear one going through great travail spoke to me of her hopelessness and helplessness in the face of heavy hits that keep on coming. A list of what she has dealt with in the last year reads like the book of Job. With her signature honesty she noted that she feels so bereft that she doesn’t ask for Divine help anymore: this dark passage has made it hard for her to feel help is there.

Events continue to take a blow torch to my sense that I know what anyone should do in any situation. If I see things one way, something immediately happens to have me see it the opposite way. With this beloved, I didn’t know what I would do if faced with the extremity of her situation, and I certainly didn’t know if I would feel the presence of Divinity in her circumstance. Yet……after a bit, I encouraged her to ask for Divine help whether she believes it is there or not.

After I spoke, I felt perhaps it had been wrong to pony up this suggestion. I don’t know what it’s like to walk in her shoes, and I certainly understand why she would neither feel the pulse of Divinity or have any interest in looking for it.

After we ended our conversation, I stumbled on this Hafiz line.

“It is not known where the real abode of the Divine Beloved is, only this much is clear, I hear the sound of bells from the traveling caravans.”

This reminded me I’m grateful when others share encouragement and their experience of Divinity. These are “the sound of bells from the traveling caravans.” They keep me going and lift me up when I flounder. So maybe it is okay when I ring the bells on my camel.

Which leads me to explain why I rang this bell for this beloved and why I ring it for you so frequently on the topic of asking for Divine help. Perhaps this is a bell that you do not need to hear. Perhaps it will support you. In either case, I salute you on this shared journey. I hope your camel is not too grumpy and that your ride is not too bumpy.

But back to the topic of asking for Divine help. Young children’s energy systems are dialed in to the vibrational changes occurring on the planet. The children are equipped to make the vibrational leap with less bother than us older folks. They have come in with energetic circuit boards that work for the incoming energies. This gives them an ability to assimilate this energy with relative ease. This ease stands in contrast to the work required for us older folk to adapt our energy systems to the incoming light and the new earth grid of light energy.

For us older folks, this shift is a project. Not a crushing one, but nonetheless an arduous one. The grace in our collective situation is that Divinity is not asking us to do it alone. We receive constant support.

So if everyone needs help and everyone is getting Divine help, why does it improve things to ask Divinity and a team of Divine helpers for detailed help? When we ask for specific help, the help can be more specific.

These Divine helpers see our energy system clearly and know what each of us need to make the leap, but they can’t know exactly how the shift is playing itself out in our bodies. A trainer knows how to get us in shape for a marathon, but us explaining how each step of the training is going vastly improves the training strategy and our progress. So it is with this vibrational shift.

In previous blogs (including one on May 10th, 2020 called Welcoming the Light- Possible ways to Proceed and Flower Essences to Help and also one on March 4th, 2021 called Path of Light Trio) I described a specific way I ask for help. In brief, I call in Divinity and the Angels, Elementals and Ascended Masters that I work with. I welcome those helping me that I do not know. Then I ask for help to release from my mental, emotional, etheric and physical body what I need to release. I ask for help to welcome the higher vibrations into my energy system, knowing the release has made room for more light. Then I sit or lie still for about an hour.

While this process once seemed like an optional tool to use whenever I remembered it, I now use it daily. Decades ago we had latitude about our time frame for spiritual growth and the pace of our spiritual shift to light bodies. Now we must give our undivided attention to this energetic work. Our planet is on the move and so must we be.

To support this process, I’m also using the Path of Light trio. I’ve mixed the trio into one bottle, and when I begin and finish this energy session, I spritz the mix over and around myself.

The first in the trio, Clear the Path specifically helps us with the vital work of dumping lower vibrations that are no longer compatible with the rising frequency of the planet. These heavy vibrations need to be released if we are going to be able to stay in sync with our planet’s rising vibration.

I ask outloud to deepen the clarity of my requests. Recently I read about a spiritual seeker who was also chief counsel for a multinational company. When pressed with a major problem that he did not know how to resolve, he would crawl under his desk during meetings to ask Divinity for help outloud. This is how important he felt asking outloud was.

I also try to be very detailed. Yes, our cries of, “Help me!” will be answered, but in this conversation with spirit, all the clarity we bring means much more focused and effective support. I also include a request to release what my Divine helpers know I need to release. This way I also receive the support they know I need from their overview of me and my situation.

The process to clear the path takes on unexpected twists and turns. I look to events in my daily life, especially the ones tripping me up, to see what I need to release in order to make way for higher vibrations. I have begun to think everything needs to go but my connection to Divinity. I hold onto this much as a child holds onto its mother’s skirt.

Topics for release crop up like gophers. So many gophers! As issues surface, they seem obvious in retrospect but I don’t see them coming. All these shifts may be necessary but they are disorienting. Time is strange and things we once enjoyed feel alien and uncomfortable. I’m finding myself a bit unsteady on my feet, like a toddler learning to walk after mastering the art of the crawl. I don’t want to go back to crawling but the upright thing feels surreal.

Here’s a little example. I have always thought of myself as fairly adept at the social ramble. My family of origin stressed what I think of as “cocktail party manners,” and I was good at them. This past weekend about a dozen people converged at the crossroads in front of the farm. As I caught up with all these neighbors I found myself completely overwhelmed by this “crowd.” I fumbled my way through the many conversations that sprang up, aware that a comfortable crowd for me has become me and my dog. Was this all a result of covid isolation or have I become an introvert? I don’t really know. This caravan journey is so very dusty. No wonder we need bells ringing!

This dust swirling within and without informs what we ask to release next. In this case I needed to surrender my sense of myself as socially skilled and any rising shame that this isn’t me right now. In this time of metamorphosis all we can do is surrender to what is then surrender again and again all with the support of the vast group of spiritual guides here to help us do it.

These guides are like a crew of expert climbers taking us up El Capitan for the first time. I don’t know about you, but I am going to ask them for their advice then take it. I am going to be specific about what I don’t understand about the climb and how it is affecting me and I am also going to integrate their guidance as much as possible. As I mentioned previously, one piece of advice I get daily is to drink more water. This cleanse process is moving lifetimes of low vibrations out of our mental emotional, physical and etheric bodies and hydration makes the release vastly easier on our systems.

As our release makes energetic space within us, spirit will also help us Welcome the Light. We are not separate from this incoming light but our many illusions of separation clog the flow of this light. As we release, this Flower Essence and the team of Divine support help us let our light predominate in our energy systems.

We are toddlers in our new light bodies on our new earth so Walk in Light helps us steady ourselves as we keep going.

In my toddler state, in any state really, bells ringing across the caravan really help me, so I thank you for all your love.

True Road

We’ve lived on this hill for almost four decades. It has given us a breathtaking view every day. It has brought us the gift of so much beauty. There are so many things to love about living on the crest of this hill. But when all is said and done, the biggest character on the hill is True Road.

Under an arch of magnificent maples, True Road tears up our hill at what seems an impossibly steep angle. True Road is a dirt road as well as steep one. This combination in northern New England makes it a flamboyant, quirky, and opinionated presence figuring large in our lives.

New neighbors just arriving on our road look befuddled when I mention the drama of the road. Within a few months, they nod with knowing grimaces. The road with its special hill speaks to one and all who live on it.

The extreme steepness means that during winter weather, all seven eight nine months of it, there is a need to proceed with caution down the hill. On any morning of precipitation such as snow, sleet, icy rain or freezing rain, people going to work line their vehicles up at the top of the hill, right where the farm sits. They get out of their cars to peer over the hill to watch how the journey down the hill is going for the car ahead. Sometimes, despite the best intentions, things do not go well, and this mass of people comes in handy when many willing hands are needed to help someone out of a ditch.

At other times of day when there is no crowd, we are the default source for willing hands. Being situated at the top of the hill, we are the first place people come for help when they find themselves off the road. They may have gone too fast down the hill or the hill has simply had its say despite cautious driving. The hill is a mystery. It has its own ideas. Even the mightiest cannot outwit the hill. Even the town plow flipped over on its side while braking down our hill.

We have a few reckless impulsive overconfident confident drivers on the hill who are registered frequent ditchers. When there is a knock on the door on a snowy night, it’s almost always one of these two. What can I say? They like drama.

Then there is mud season on True Road. During the weeks of mud season, the road unlocks and the texture of the road goes from hard pack to soupy gloop. At night, if temperatures drop, it locks up again, freezing the ruts created during the soupy gloop stages.

How do these ruts begin? How does any rut begin? I don’t think anyone sets off to create a rut, but somehow they happen. The more cars and trucks that traverse the road, the deeper the ruts. Sometimes the old saying about digging to China comes to mind. How can these ruts get so deep?

As the ruts deepen they pull cars hard in different and unexpected directions. There is nothing quite like a rut ride on True Road. One of my children had a friend who wanted to design roller coasters. Numerous visits to the farm laid rest to this dream. Who needs roller coasters when they have this hill?

This morning for example, Jim set off to school in the truck. He called when he got to school to report on the amusement park ride that had sprung up overnight on the hill. He suggest a route down the hill through the ruts: I think it was right, hard right, then hard left, then right. On my first (and definitely only) trip down the hill today, the ruts were nearly impassable even with Jim’s guidance. Coming back from my errand, I parked the car at a neighbors and hiked the hill. This was its own drama as several cars came bumping down the hill while I walked up. As their cars lurched like pinballs unexpectedly pulling right and left, I dove for a steep bank to get out of the way.

As the day warms, the ruts will get worse and the ride more extreme. There will be a pack of sensible drivers who will park their cars with me at the bottom of the hill and there will be a few fearless ones with cars stuck halfway up the hill in a particularly gargantuan rut. We’ll need the town grader to save us before the road is smooth and safe again. As we wait our turn in a town full of problematic dirt roads, we’ll have at least a day or two to share notes and cluck over the car that will have to be towed away in order for the town grader to smooth the ruts.

Bonding is a strange and unexpected gift of the hill. New England with its bitter endless tiresome cheeky winters may keep us too long in our separate homes as has this darn virus, but the hill keeps us connected. We share a common difficulty and enjoy each other’s grit and determination to navigate this challenge. We help each other up and down the hill (especially us Sheehans at the top of the hill) and we tell tales of mishaps and glorious moments of victory.

Maybe we will look back on this time of the virus like that. Maybe we will find increased empathy as we share what it has been like for each of us. Maybe we will savor each others grit and determination in the face of something that moved us unexpectedly all over the place in ruts that were not of our creation. Maybe this will bring us closer to each other. I hope so.

Path of Light Trio

We recently created a new trio called Path of Light Trio. This trio includes three new Flower Essence combination remedies called Clear the Path, Welcome the Light and Walk in Light.

We created these remedies to support the complex energetic metamorphosis everyone and everything on Earth now undertakes. We broke this metamorphosis down into a threefold process of releasing dense vibrations, welcoming in higher Light vibrations in their place and navigating life in the new Light bodies that result from this work. The we created a remedy which would help each step.

Why offer these mixes right now? Much Light is pouring into Earth to raise our planetary frequency to one of spiritual harmony and conscious oneness. As you have noticed, the process to shift to this frequency is both individually and collectively messy and challenging. This trio helps us clear inner roadblocks and make space so we can personally receive the incoming Light. The trio also helps us be the Light in a time when many around us may have mixed feelings about this evolutionary leap.

The Flowers live in complete certainty we will accomplish this planetary task and a Golden Age now dawns. This certainty in itself is a great vibrational gift to receive from Flowers.  As Dittany from Crete reminds us, “The despairing belief that this will always be a patriarchal planet is not fact. The patriarchal culture of war, societal and resource inequality, enslavement and disharmony is a piece of history, now passing, and not an eternal verity. Humankind can and will re-find cooperative community based on the values of egalitarian generosity and oneness with all creation. AND WE THE FLOWERS WILL HELP YOU DO THIS! As in right now, with this trio!”

And why do Flowers and their gift of Flower Essences help? All of us are being asked to hold much more Light in our energy systems. Flowers know how to do this. They are Divine Light manifest in form. Flower Essences are the Flowers’ roadmap for how to do this ourselves. Now is our time to join the Flowers. As they support us to Clear the Path and Welcome the Light, we too move towards an experience of self as an expression of Divinity in form, we too will Walk in Light.

The trio has its own page on the website as do each of these remedies. I am going to give the description of each remedy. THEN I have listed the ingredients in each remedy with a short description of the purpose of each ingredient. If you want to just get a brief overview of the three new remedies, you can just read the first part of the blog. If you want a more indepth understanding of each mix, check out the second part of the blog. At the end I give a suggestion for how to work with the trio.


With this Essence we receive support to clear our emotional, mental, physical and etheric/memory bodies of lower vibrational energies so that there is room in our energy systems to welcome in the higher vibration Light entering Earth.

We have to let go of most everything but love to welcome this Light, and this can be challenging to do without knowing what will come next. This remedy helps us let go and empty out even the most stuck energies while also feeling the Divine safety net that is ever with us.


With the help of Clear the Path, we make space in our energy fields.  Now the Light can flood into our receptive energy systems. This Essence supports the process of receiving the Light as well as grounding this Light in our emotional, mental, etheric/memory and physical energy bodies.


As Lightbearers, we join the planetary movers and shakers that help the Light’s full manifestation on our dear Earth. Not everyone is excited about this uptick in planetary Light or in us. As we fill with Light, some may want to slow our roll. It’s good to remember that the way through this dynamic is to keep being the Light. There is no need to respond by going back down into the dense vibration we have worked so hard to leave behind. This remedy supports us to not look back but stay confident in our radiant and evolving path of Light.  It helps us embrace the unexpected adventures that being a Lightbearer brings. It helps us find that delicate and beautiful balance of being our Light while letting each sentient being seek the Light in their own time and way. It helps us experience that we are Divinity in a sea of Divinity. 


(anything without a link is from our Additional Flower Essence collection. )

Flower Essences in CLEAR THE PATH

Belorado– Holding faith in the emptiness of the release process before the next chapter begins, because we have to leave these old tired energies behind before we can know what is next.

Bermuda Easter Lily– For purification including the release of the roadblock of self criticism.

Butter & Eggs– Promotes the release of old wounds in a process in which we don’t call the wounds back in due to a misguided illusion we deserve them.

The Butterfly FlowerClerodendrum ugandense Freedom from our bindings, be they spiritual, mental, emotional or physical.

Carolina Thermopsis– Like a big wind blowing, this one clears out the energetic cobwebs.

Calliandra from Taiwan– Promotes release from any cycle of betrayal so we can experience a new flow of love and restored self worth.

Glory BowerClerodendrum thompsonaie Joyfully blows all illusions off our path of Light.

Cherry Tomato– Cleanser of links, chains and networks that bind us to anything that does not serve us.

Dainty Bess Rose– Deep release of lingering sorrows and regrets that left us suffering and bitter.

Heliotrope– Helps us surrender our deeply held grudges against ourselves, ushering in self forgiveness.

Konigin Von Danemark Rose– Helps us avoid shame spirals that would impede our release process.

Lavacolla– Help for our bodies to clear any clutter that remains from finished energetic work.

Letting Go Flower– Letting go is the only way to create inner space.

Los Arcos– Emptying out can leave us feeling alone. This one helps us find the bravery to move ahead on our own while being open to support from unexpected places.

Maple– Increases our feelings of worthiness to receive this support to empty out.

Musk Thistle– Incomparable tool for spiritual housecleaning.

Nodding Ladies Tresses– Untangles long tangled energies for full release.

O’Cebreiro– Finding the strength to let go even as we do not know what will come next.

Pandorea– Its time to open up our Pandora’s box then jettison everything inside.

Sahagun– Breaking down behaviors triggered by fear so we can surrender fully to the release process.

Tansy– Helps us blast away energies that have been clinging to us for centuries.

Trabadelo– The courage to let go of old patterns.

Whiskbroom Parsley– Powerful cleanser of electrical circuits.

White Trillium– Help to stop carrying the scales of justice on our backs and to trust Divinity’s got this and everything else covered.

Winter Aconite– To begin again, unburdened.

Flower Essences in WELCOME THE LIGHT

Agathe Incarnata Rose– Transforms our desire to be Love and Light into Love and Light incarnate.

Belerephon of the Open Door– A Beloved Essence that opens the door so Light can flood in.

Coralita Unwrinkles glitches so the Light energy flows smoothly through our whole energy system.

Date Palm– Supports the shift in our DNA, transforming us into vessels able to hold greater Light.

Dittany– As the Light enters us, this one offers us a template for the sacred union of masculine and feminine energies.

Fireweed– Pierces through any impediments in our surroundings so that the incoming Light can flow into us without obstruction or delay. 

Hollyhock– Organizes our electrical system so that the Light can enter in a coordinated flow.

Jamaica Dogwood– Freedom to welcome the Light into every cell of our being. Like Date Palm, this Essence works with our DNA.

Kangaroo Apple– Opens us to receive Light from the five chakras above out heads. These chakras play a key role in us assimilating the incoming flow of Light.

Morning Glory– Helps us joyfully welcome the flow of glorious incoming Light.

Oak– Opens us to experience our inner Light so we come to the full recognition we are Light.

Pink Calliandra– Awakens our hearts to their full Light capacity. This is vital to the full flow of Light throughout our energy system as the heart is the main energy transformer for our entire energy system and the place where Divine Light is first and always grounded.

Purple Loosestrife– Helps us ground the Light much as a lightning rod does this with lightning.

Rosaraie de l’Hay– Works on the cellular level to help Love and Light flow into all our energy system.

Rose Apple– Another that works to open up the heart chakra. Specifically it brings Light to the heart to heal deeply buried ancient wounds.

Sea Campion– Accepting bounty.

Silver-rod– Think of this one as the master transformer, guaranteeing that the entering Light goes to the right places in our electrical systems.

Sweet Alyssum– This one introduces the Light of Christ Consciousness into our energy systems.

Top Chakra Teasel– We welcome this Light into our physical vehicle via our seventh chakra. This Essence helps this chakra feel protected for this process of opening to receive the Light.

Trout Lily– This wild lily is particularly adept at helping us ground the Light in out physical bodies.

Flower Essences in WALK IN LIGHT

Arre– Trusting your life’s pacing and standing by it with fully centered and grounded conviction.

Balance in a Blue Moon– Staying centered, balanced and in Light on a rapidly changing planet.

The Butterfly Garden– Support to walk the spiritual path as a force of unconditional love.

Butterfly Kisses– It’s butterfly time.

Carrot– Grounded assistance to stay focused and rooted in our life purpose.

Chinese Forget-Me-Not– A counterpart to Eyes of Mary, this one helps us hold an energy of loving detachment while also transforming this energy into wise action as in “walk our talk.”

Elderberry– Support to hold the Light in challenging even dark situations.

Equanimity “If you meet life squarely, accepting its opposites with equanimity while carrying on your duties in a spirit of selfless love and service, you will not only come in tune with the Infinite, but you yourself will become the Infinite which you seek.” Meher Baba

Eyes of Mary– Seeing the reality of Love behind all form, much as Angels do.

Freesia– Supports the full expression of our unlimited being.

Lady’s Thumb– Trusting the Divine energetic thumbprint for our lives.

Pickerel Weed– “I AM serene in my role as spiritual torchbearer.”

Pink Lady’s Slipper– Helps us walk the path of love and light when it might seem impossible to do so.

Purple Allamanda– Helps us experience oneness and unity consciousness even in “swampy places”.

Rue- aka the Herb of Grace- While helpful in the task of assimilating the Light in our bodies, Rue also helps us experience the grace of our circumstances and imbues us with a confidence in our life path.

St. David’s Rose– Support to stop giving away the role of authority to other personalities but instead ground in the immense authority of our inner Divinity.

Sunflower Yes, we really are the super heroes of our own tale.

The Sunflower Spiral– Relax! Everyone is right where they need to be on their spiritual journeys.

Wild Lettuce– “I AM at home in the Cosmos,” because to walk in Light is to expand our definition of self in a big way. 

Yellow Water Lily– Experiencing ourselves as eternally anchored in the Divine no matter what storms roll across the surface of our daily lives.


In meditation or as you get ready to go to sleep, take the remedies in water or as a spritz then call in Divinity, the Angels working with you (everyone has a group right now) the Elementals working with you including Pan, the head Elemental, and your body Elemental, and any Ascended Masters working with you. You can ask for specific spiritual beings if you wish or simply ask for the ones working with you. It is helpful to make this and all your requests to spirit out loud.

Next, ask this group to remove all dense vibrational energies in your emotional, mental, physical and etheric/memory bodies that needs to go at this time. I ask that this removed energy be sent through a christed grid to be transmuted through the central sun. A christed grid is an energetic filter that washes the removed energy clean so it won’t return to you. Sending the removed energies to the central sun means the removed energy will no longer be here on Earth either.

You can specifically itemize the energies you would like to see removed such as anger, judgment, bitterness, fear, worry or anything that perpetuates the illusion of separation.  Another way to do this is to ask for the release of all 3D dense energies.  In asking for this clearing, you will not shed anything that serves your Light or anyone else’s.

As you make space for the new by the removal of the old, you can also ask this spiritual team to help you welcome the incoming Divine healing Love and Light into your energy system. I find it helpful to visualize this flow, imagining the Light entering through the chakras above my head then down through the seven chakras in my physical body all the way through to my earth star chakra beneath my feet. I also visualize this Light moving through my emotional, mental and etheric/memory bodies that extend out from my physical body as well as interpenetrate it.

You may feel this energy enter or you may not. In either case, this energy will flow through your electrical field.  The work you do to release old stuck energies means that more light can enter. You can do this process for 45 minutes or so if you have the time. Doing this as a daily practice is very helpful as it takes our energy systems time to learn how to hold this high frequency at all times.

On closing, thank all these Beloveds and take the Essences again if you can as this helps set what you have accomplished in your session. One thing the Angels tell me CONSTANTLY is that this work requires us to be well hydrated and that we all need to drink more water right now.  Putting your trio of Essences in water is one way to do this.

I have written about this incoming Light extensively on the blog in the last few years. In addition, on the resources page a document called “Flower Essences 101” explains the language I use such as etheric/memory body and body Elemental.

This trio is offered with much Love from all of us here!

Adventures in the Sugar Bush

It seems like everyone’s covid time is strange but in different ways.  Take for instance, my daily life compared to that of my husband’s.

 Jim teaches middle school students. From 8 to 3 he herds all the young people in his charge into some semblance of socially distanced order. His students wear masks and sit at desks set in straight lines and separated by the requisite six feet. Whereas in year’s past he stayed in his classroom and students travelled from one room to the next, this year all his students stay in their homeroom seats while he moves from classroom to classroom.

He has a big cart he hauls around the building, but some things are impossible to move.  Right now his classes are learning about the Lewis and Clark expedition. This means he had to make an enormous map of the expedition route for each of the classrooms he travels to instead of just one for his classroom.

Jim thinks it is harder for his kids to stay in place than for him to be moving.  This enforced sitting around is driving his charges bananas, and he is very sympathetic with their plight. You can’t teach middle school students for thirty years without noticing they like to move, jostle each other, talk nonstop and never sit in orderly rows.

Recess would seem to suggest a break in the routine but not so much. We have so much snow that even recess is a challenge. The kids wade through snowdrifts to get to designated areas where they are still not supposed to jostle each other.  None of these constraints come naturally to any of us and most especially not to middle school students. For Jim, policing all this separation while wearing a mask has required a well evolved sense of humor and a constantly strained voice.

Meanwhile, I see few people. I do not spend much time in the office when the staff is there. Everyone in the office is masked and socially distancing and the addition of me crowds the space. Instead I do my jobs in off hours when the room is empty. Outside, I am also on my own.  

Take for example this week. As maple sugaring season begins, life finds me in the sugar bush with just my hand drill, sap buckets, taps, hammer, boots with crampons and of course, Sheba.

Here’s how my solo tapping went yesterday. Right off the bat I tried to navigate a deep snowdrift of icy, crusty packed snow. Immediately one foot sunk in snow up to the top of my leg while the other stayed level with the top of the drift. This was a surprisingly hard position from which to fight my way free.

As I considered my situation, I recalled my grandfather’s favorite expression, “When you fall through the ice with your snowshoes, your troubles she just begun.” I mused on this quote for a while wondering if my grandfather had ever actually worn a pair of snowshoes. After all, he grew up in Montclair, NJ. I also considered rather belatedly that the sensible choice of snowshoes would have improved my situation and perhaps prevented the predicament I was in, because I actually had snowshoes and knew how to use them. Fat lot of good this was doing me with them on the front porch and me alone in a sugarbush.

Well, not entirely alone. There was Sheba, somewhere or other. Like a bullet train, she glanced at one legged me then took off at top speed towards the deep woods. Squirrel sightings do that to her. At the time I consoled myself that she wouldn’t have been much help anyways being about the size of a loaf of bread. But misery does love company, and I was feeling a bit miserable as I discovered muscles in my leg above ground that I never knew I had.

So how challenging was my predicament?  Let’s just say that when I eventually got home to share my story with Elizabeth, she told me a tale of someone being buried alive in an avalanche, and I felt I could better understood how this could happen than when I awoke that morning. 

Slowly, slowly I worked my leg up and out, but it was a struggle. Did I mention the Anglo Saxon swear words I used? Another thing I pondered: If you swear in the woods and nobody is there, do you make any noise? This is something we may never know. 

Anyways, once free I had a very happy morning. First I stomped down paths from maple tree to maple tree to make later sap collection easier. Then I visited with each maple tree friend. Before I drilled a hole, I asked each tree’s permission to tap and also asked the tree to help me choose where I should tap. I had arranged to have the whole morning to tap the trees, and I found myself taking my ease with each hole I drilled and each tree I tapped. Yes, there was some tree hugging.

After this bizarre year, I found myself particularly grateful for the company of these trees. I have been tapping them for 25 years, but never before did I do it as the solo person. Usually we tap trees in a clutch of family. Jim does most of the hole drilling, and someone else, usually me, hands him a tap to hammer in and bucket to hang. We go from tree to tree with him the “muscles from Brussels”.  Other accompanying family members suffer to drill a tree for the photo op but then tend to do things like sunbathe in the snow or climb a tree or two.  It’s all very festive and noisy. 

This year was very quiet.  Well except for the seven minutes of cursing in the snowdrift.  I felt the presence of the trees more acutely, and this was good. In the maples’ palpable company, I thought a lot about how covid had slowed me down so that I noticed things like this more.  I also appreciated that I felt relaxed at the very slow pace of my tapping.  The snow stomping to weave a trail from tree to tree took a long time and the drilling even longer. With the hand drill I have to lean my whole body weight into the drill to get it to work and even then it goes at a snail’s pace.  Office goddess Vicki noted that her family uses an electric drill for their maple sugar operation. This moves the job along much faster and probably means fewer sore muscles too, but this year it was okay that it took what an impatient me would have described as “forever.”

 At least for yesterday morning, a more patient me prevailed.  I suspect the constraint of covid helped me find this patience. Will I have it any other day? Well, who knows…. Let’s recall that my last blog was titled “Stir Crazy,” and my mood on that day was one of wanting to get in a car and drive anywhere to do anything. But yesterday was a bit of maple magic moment …. the kind of magic moment that was a heck of a lot easier for me to experience alone in a sugarbush than for Jim in a sea of squirming, blurting, mask wearing preteens.

All in all, I returned to the farm with both legs and a grateful heart.

Tools of the trade: Hand drill, Sheba and Jim’s favorite hammer ( don’t tell him I borrowed it)
Tree climbing in full swing during a previous sugaring season
How we usually employ Jim (note that during this sugaring season there is virtually no snow)
One of my favorite maple sugaring photos because of the rings formed by a falling drop
A few years back with the “muscles from Brussels” and Sheba. She’s the constant.