Peak Ugliness, but Also Resilience and Sweetness

Here we are in March, which in Maine means peak ugliness. The snow is melting. There is mud. There are dirty snowbanks.

This little beauty is not far from our home.

See what I mean? I wasn’t exaggerating even one little bit about peak ugliness in Maine in March.

Flowers are still only a dream. Instead, we have last season’s dried remnants clinging to branches.

But, but, and but. I am an American, and even in this time of the novel coronavirus—whose true name is now SARS-CoV-2—and the terrible lies and incompetence coming from those at the top who should know and do better, I wanted to find something good in this God-awful month.

And, lo and behold: I did find something. Two somethings, actually.

Just up the road from us is a magnificent tree that was horribly damaged during the Great Ice Storm of 1998. After the ice storm, the tree looked as though it had been maimed. (Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the tree when it was in that sorry state.) Even though this tree is not on our land, we love it dearly and worried about it.

But twenty-two years later, the tree is thriving, beautiful in any season, even March.

Not far from this magnificent tree there are other smaller trees providing sap to a neighbor who taps them every year.

While March brings peak ugliness, especially this year, it also brings the running of sap, which in turn is boiled down to one of nature’s sweetest gifts—maple syrup.

Can pancakes be far behind?




36 thoughts on “Peak Ugliness, but Also Resilience and Sweetness”

    1. Yes, beauty is everywhere. There is so much good but sometimes it seems that good gets swamped by not so good. (Dare I say bad? Or go even darker and say evil?)

  1. It’s a wonderful time of year when pure white sap runs our of our favorite maple trees only to be boiled and turned into delicious syrup. Nothing beats pancakes and New England Maple Syrup.

  2. Boy, was the sap running today! What a glorious day… we walked in just shirtsleeves for the first time since October. Then I read a few chapters of David Sedaris on the front porch, which had me laughing out loud. All in all a great day– it really is up to us to keep our spirits up. ❤

  3. I had feelings of nostalgic affection sweep over me when I saw that dirty snow. That was March in Iowa, too, and those dirty snowbanks were a sign that spring was coming — eventually.

    My most amusing dirty snow story might amuse you. I was supposed to be going to the library during my senior year in high school. I decided to take the car into the country for a little joy ride.I took a muddy and snowy 90 degree curve a little fast, and ended up in the ditch: just sitting atop all the snow and mud that had filled up the ditch and solidified.

    A nearby farmer pulled me out with his tractor and a chain. The dirt on the sides of the car wasn’t even a little disturbed, so I drove home and parked the car in the garage without saying a word. Three days later, all that mud dried and fell off onto the concrete floor of the garage. My dad came in that night and said, “Is there something you’d like to tell me?”

    1. Oh this made me laugh! Great story. And I must admit I’ve never heard anyone say that dirty snow has brought feelings of affection and nostalgia. 😉

  4. 🙂 All will be beautiful very soon.
    Pancakes, ah I better make them tomorrow. I have home made cherry jam, no maple syrup 🙂

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