Sunday Buds and Maple as Leader

Here is a new painting by crew member Ana Lucia that shows how buds look when they have just popped, in this case shortly after the final boiling day.

Popped sugar maple buds, ca. 4/15/17. Painting by Ana Lucia Fernandez

Compare the popped buds with the tight buds of March.

Sugar maple buds. Drawing by Ana Lucia Fernandez

Sugar maple buds.
Drawing by Ana Lucia Fernandez

It seems right to print once again the story of how First Nation citizens revere the maple as leader of the trees.

The Maple Tree

The following is a small piece of the Iroquois Creation Story, as told to Audrey in Nova Scotia by a woman who is a member of the Mohawk Nation, August 2004.

Sky Woman (Grandmother Moon) came to this world pregnant. She gave birth to Original Woman (Mother Earth). Original Woman ended up sacrificing herself in childbirth so that life on earth could begin.

After her death, Original Woman was placed in the ground:

  1. From her head grew tobacco that it might be burned and be the visible representation of our thoughts and prayers to the Spirit World (helpers) and the Great Mystery.

  2. From her heart grew the heart berry (strawberry) that we would have blood, family connections, seeds and a connection to the earth (natural world).
  3. From her body grew the Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash), the main sustenance of the Iroquois.
  4. From her lower body grew the Maple Tree. The Maple Tree provides us with sweet cleansing water.

The Maple Tree is the leader of all trees. It leads by example and shows the trees how to work with Mother Earth and the seasons – when the sap will flow, when to bud, when to unfurl, when to seed, when to color, when to fall and when to begin again. The only element that all life needs is water. The Maple stands to teach us to respect and care for our water, as it is a sacred gift. The Iroquois believe that each stand of maples has a head female and a head male tree. These two are often the oldest amongst the stand of trees.

To this day, the Iroquois recognizes and honors the Maple as a leader and holds a ceremony at tapping/syrup time to remember how important the Maple is to our life, how it came as a gift to the People from Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon, Sky World, and the Great Mystery.