As some of you may know, each year I tap the maple trees behind my house and make syrup. It is a peaceful, methodical process. There is no way to speed up liquid boiling, or to hurry along the sap flowing out of the trees when done the way I do it, the old-fashioned way, a single tap per tree on which hangs a bucket and a top. The process is driven by nature -- temperature changes, physics and weather. It is an exercise of patience and affords me the time to slow down, to notice, to think. And as I chop wood, load the fire box, as I empty the buckets and haul the sap, as I feed the fire and, finally, drain off the syrup, I have plenty of time to think.
This year, on Easter, I decided to listen to this sermon by Martin Luther King. I am not a Christian, but I respect the faith as I do all the religions and their power to make one think about one's place in life, to think about one's purpose, to align our souls to goodness.