Monday, February 29, 2016

Sugar Moon...

Our "sugaring off " friends, The McCutcheon Family commenced their 2016 maple syrup making activities last Friday in their large bush. The whole family was out together in the bush... setting taps for their kilometers of plastic lines in readiness for the much-anticipated annual run.

This year's strange winter and spring offer no firm guarantee for a lucrative spring run... and yet they are out there... the bush filled with their combined spirited laughter and antics as they alternate between hard work and horse play. This rite of spring flows in their veins as surely as the sap flows skyward from the dormant trees' roots to the outspread and still leafless arms of the maple hardwood canopy. It's not only about money!

It is no coincidence either that their operation commenced on Friday. The Saturday sky bore the full moon of March... often referred to by farmers and syrup makers as... "the Sugar Moon." Old timers... who still have connection to the Mother Earth and her many cycles and mysteries use this moon as a bench mark to commence their sugaring off.

Perhaps... it is pure synchronicity... but I do not feel so. My former student... actress... teacher... consultant and now poet, Lois Lorimer and I again line up with a common subject. I would like to share another favourite poem from her collection Stripmall Subversive with you - her deeply personal... language-rich and thought-provoking poem "Sugar Moon."

When paired with my nocturne painting depicting that same event and theme... the soulfulness of her imagery is further heightened and magnified.

Sugar Moon

First time in twenty years
moon closest to earth
and you not here

It's bright all right.
You would have loved
this Sugar Moon,

named by Algonquin
as the sap rises,
before the equinox.

After midnight,
saturated with loss
I get up, let the dog out.

Put a coat over grief
enter darkness
where moonlight

spun like sugar
reminds me you'll
miss maple syrup time.

Some call it Death Moon,
but I prefer Sugar, stirred
in memory into the Milky Way.

                                             "Sugar Moon" - oil on canvas 22 x 18 inches

The peace and soulfulness in this painting is visually obvious. However... on a deeper personal and hidden level, this painting was gifted to a very special friend who had tragically lost a daughter. It meant a great deal to her at receive it as a token of my support and friendship. It continues to hold a special place in my heart for too many reasons to express... sweet memories!

Wishing the McCutcheons and all other syrup-ing folk a very full and Sweet Spring! And to each of my readers and blogging friends, I wish each of you....

Happy Spring and Happy Painting!!!


  1. Thanks Rhonda!... I thought that they seemed to knit together in content and symbolism perfectly. So did Lois!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  2. Lovely. You are right - the sugar season is a special time. My dad said recently, "the family 'togetherness' means a lot more to me than the syrup". Thanks as always for your kind support.

  3. Hi there Carley and Clan!... The sugar season was always "special" to all members of the various family sheds that I have had the privilege to visit over these many springs.

    "Togetherness" was always obvious... and served up copiously at the McCutcheon shanty. We always felt welcome and were warmed by being included in your Dad and Mom's "circle of togetherness".

    Thank you to all ... for these cherished ever-sweet memories!

    Cheers... and Happy Spring!

    The Shermans