Crisp air chills our lungs, as we make our way along the well trodden path to the crest of the hill. Tendrils of smoke float heavy from under scarred metal pots, flitting amongst the scrub. Layers of brown, the leaves give texture and add their music as they scrape against each other in the breeze.
Stoic, they hang, arms splayed cruciform in the sun, fingers stretched to heavens seeking solace in the warmth. Life dribbles from their skin, pierced with spikes running deep, as they groan under their own weight.
Steel buckets rest heavy against the base, catching clear rivulets of tears, enticing fingers to trace their rim. Put to lip, the flavor so faint, as if water, dances along the tongue.
Daddy, does it hurt?
I imagine a little, but come spring the dead limbs will teem with new life
Why do they do it?
To make sure you enjoy the sweet things in life.
Glistening soot stained arms, turn slowly with care, stirring the steaming contents on the smoldering fire. A toothy smile breaks loose across scruffy chin, above his uniform, as he notices us for the first time, among the gathering throng of onlookers.
Welcome to the Maple Syrup Festival, care to try some that's ready?
Is it the same as the tree?
You'll just have to taste and see...