In My Sketchbook
I got a bit of sketching done! This a tree knot that fell from the oldest Maple in our front yard. It appears to have an eye looking out from the center of the knot. I enhanced it in the drawing, but not by much. This is the story of the Old Woman and the Maple Tree Spirit as retold by Richard L. Dieterle
There lived an old woman by herself in an oval lodge at the outskirts of the village. She was always doing good for the people. If anyone needed anything from her, she would not fail to give it to them. She always fasted and made offerings of tobacco to the spirits.
Now the time had come when sap was collected from the maples, and she went out with her bucket to see what she might obtain. She went from one tree to another, yet she hardly collected anything. As she was walking along in the forest, she heard a voice. She looked around, but could see no one. Again the voice spoke to her, and she discovered that the voice had come from the trunk of a maple tree. "Grandmother, I take pity on you. Come back to me tomorrow and you will find on my trunk a ball of sap. Take this sap and rub it around the inside rim of your sap boiling kettle. However much sap you have put in, that much will expand to the place you have scored. And when you make maple syrup, if you can remember me with a small offering of tobacco, you will be blessed."
Thus the Tree Spirit spoke to her. So the next day she retrieved a ball of sap from the tree, and did as the spirit had bidden. Indeed, no matter how little sap she put in the kettle, it would always boil up to the mark she had made on the rim. She never wanted for maple syrup. Thus had she been blessed.
Perhaps this is the Tree Spirit looking out for us.