A Time of Possibility and Responsibility

In her retelling of an ancient Potowatomi story about maple syrup, Robin Walls Kimmerer ends the tale with this reminder:

“Today, maple sap flows like a stream of water with only a trace of sweetness to remind the people both of possibility and of responsibility. And so it is that it takes forty gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup” (p 63). Braiding Sweetgrass

IMG_0503We are three weeks into Bea’s school year and one week into Elle’s. On Tuesday, I came home to a quiet house and got more writing done in those couple hours than I had all summer long. On Thursday, I had a meeting at 10:30, right in the middle of my morning. I read and checked social media and wasn’t very productive until midmorning. And then the meeting got canceled. I had another hour or so before pickup.

What to do? I thought about calling the morning a waste and finishing my book. (Which I think would have been a totally acceptable option!) Instead, I checked the list I had dreamed up midsummer and picked one thing to do on it. It wasn’t much – just cleaning out outgrown clothes – but it felt like a good accomplishment.

I had to put into practice my head knowledge: I knew my list would take a while and that I’m in this two-morning-to-myself routine for a while. And yet, when confronted with actual practice, I spent an hour flailing and unsure.

This season reminds me of Kimmerer’s description of maple syrup. On one small level, this is a time of possibility and responsibility for me personally. As I transition to some breathing space in my own schedule, I’m reminded that the sap only comes when it’s ready. That this is a process.

I want to keep the enthusiasm and wonder of the possibility of this time. And I want to it to transfer to the time with the girls. Because really, these five hours every week are a small portion of my days. They are still filled with all the wonders and disciplines and moments that filled our days before.

How do I hold this possibility and responsibility together? How do I remember that this time doesn’t need to be stressful but appreciated as the gift it is?

What about you? Does it take you a while to transition to a new schedule or season? What are your best practices? 

Linked with Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “rush.”

Books Referenced:
Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site. 


Published by

Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

8 thoughts on “A Time of Possibility and Responsibility”

    1. I love the passing of seasons but I am not great at going with the flow of them. Always need those reminders of this goodness! Thanks for stopping by!

  1. For me, it’s more the interruptions in my schedule that take me a while to readjust to. It’s amazing how one week away can through the next few weeks out of kilter. I can appreciate the quote and your observation that sap only comes when it’s ready. When I was pregnant with my first child (before sonograms and all the new testings) my doctor stuck his head in the door and said, “when the fruit is ripe it falls off the vine”. Not what I wanted to hear but never the less, the truth. 🙂

    1. Yeah, not what you want to hear at a doctor’s! 😉 You know I like having things all in a row and I’m remembering things happen when they’re ready…

  2. I have struggled with this since June. I completed home schooling my daughter. My oldest two would be heading off to college and my youngest is now 15. How doe we find our new rhythm? Increasingly, I have the opportunity to explore activities that bring fulfillment. Yet, guilt creeps in as I allow space for rest. It isn’t easy living in a culture that equals business with success. I am committed to figuring out the balance though.

    1. Yes – I’m learning to lean into what is best for me and my family. This often means our activities or schedule aren’t the same as our peers. And that’s ok…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.