Maple Moon Mama
By Jasmine Wood
Wishing you a merry Maple Moon! What is Maple Moon you ask? More commonly referred to as “Sugar Moon”, Maple Moon is the full moon in March. It marks the onset of the sugaring season. For many Eastern Native American cultures this date represents the New Year!
The Sugar Moon of March symbolizes the reawakening of the Earth and the coming of spring. This date has been celebrated for thousands of years by the peoples who inhabited this region, and for good reason. The sap season signifies the end of winter and the onset of the growing season; the end of hard times.
Springtime and the living’s easy! There is something so special about the first rays of sun of springtime; they literally awaken the senses from their winter slumber, sending a message to the cells “the time has come for you to be alive again.” I find myself with a new found energy and purpose. My plans start to transition from baking and bread making to gardening and spring cleaning!
Maple is mother too! A favorite female ecology professor of mine eloquently compares maple’s sugary sap to mama’s nourishing milk. A mother of two, she was able to witness the likeness as she watched her daughters sip sugary syrup from a tapped Maple. Like a mother’s milk, Maples sap provided valuable nutrition to her people in their time of hunger!
As women and mothers we are able to empathize with Mother Earth. We know what it feels like to continuously give without the promise of a thank you in return. Though we raise our children to always say please and thank you, all too often as adults our manners fall by the wayside.
We forget to thank the pig for our Sunday bacon, the farmer for our oat meal, and the Maple tree for our most delicious of sugary treats, syrup.How rude of us! In honor of Maple Moon I will make it a point to remember my manners!
I will teach my daughter about the source of her food, drink, clothing and shelter. Together we will give thanks for the many gifts Mother Earth provides. For a gift without gratitude ceases to be a gift and becomes a commodity!
We are so blessed to share this land with Maple trees. But, this relationship is not permanent. We tend to think of trees as sessile, permanent features in the landscape, unfortunately this is not always true. Due to climate change the homelands of the Maple are being jeopardized.
Over the next 50 years it is predicted that their home range will slowly creep northward toward the Canadian border. Imagine our home without Maple trees, I cannot.
Their vibrant fall color is synonymous with autumn in the Northeast, their syrup sings a song of our homeland, and the forests they dominate create the clean air we breathe and support the soil we grow our crops from.
As our families welcome spring let us make it a point to also welcome gratitude into our hearts and homes. By responsibly and respectfully caring for the Earth’s resources today, we ensure the future of these resources in the lives of our children.
Each of us is here for only a short space in time but our legacy lives on through our children. As parents, it is our duty to share the tools our children will need to be proper caretakers to the planet!
Till Next Time, Enjoy Some Maple Syrup and give thanks to your local Maple!