Saturday, March 26, 2011

Teachers are Everywhere

While out for a wilderness recce with Instructor John we came across a lone man walking through his bush lot just off the roadway.  We slowed to see what he was doing and quickly realized he was working his maple bush.

As many of you know this is the time of year that the sap runs clear and fast from those beautiful sugar Maples.

It goes without saying that we stopped.  This was an opportunity to learn.  We are forever students, not only of survival but of all the wonders that mother nature has to offer the bush wanderer.

This stranger turned out to be one of the most amazing teachers I have met in quite some time.  He gave of his time, knowledge, experience and passion for both the benefits of raw sap and the beauty and relaxation of producing Maple Syrup.  An exhausting and time consuming process.

However, throughout the almost two hours of time that we spent with him, his labour of love was something to respect and envy.  We left that day excited by what we had learned about the Maple tree and all its survival qualities. 

I learned something much more important that day.  There are teachers and mentors everywhere.  This world is filled with people and places that can teach us things much greater than math and science.  Teachers and mentors who can teach us to reconnect with the earth that we live on and the water and trees that provide hydration and oxygen.

I thought about that sugar bush all week and just couldn't wait any longer.  Saturday morning could not have come quick enough for me.  I bundled up the boys and off to the sugar bush to take my new teacher up on his offer to share this experience with my children.

I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, the boys or me.  It seemed like time stood still as I watched my children learning first hand and with hands on the art and beauty of tapping the mighty Maple and collecting the bounty.  They enjoyed the sunshine, warm temperatures and packable snow used of course for a good snowball fight.

This stranger showed my children the Maple Syrup process from start to finish.  They gave their undivided attention to the whole process and were rewarded with a taste of the end result and an experience like none other.

There are teachers everywhere.  Give your children and yourself the benefit of experience the outdoor classroom.  They may never want to leave this classroom.

The Boys in the Sugar Bush

Learning at the Evaporator

Checking the Buckets

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