The taps are in, the sun is shining, and the sap is running. This is it. This spring; the real deal. It's time to trudge through the last lingering drifts of snow collecting buckets and hauling them back to the evaporator. It's time to sit in a lawn chair in the driveway thumbing through seed catalogs and watching steam roll off the pan until sap becomes syrup. It's last year's summer sun captured and stored deep under ground, until now. Offered up again as a gift to the spring, our little harvest just a fraction skimmed off the top as life rushes back up from the roots. Maple syruping is the left parenthesis at the beginning of the growing season. The right parenthesis will come after the first killing frost in the fall when anything that wasn't done growing is knocked down and tilled in, over and done. Any project unfinished will soon be covered in snow, put to rest until the next year. But for now the season in between is open, unwritten. We talk about it in whispers. We draw maps and make lists. The possibilities of life are endless. This is it. This is spring.