|Tree Leaking Sap
I think about sap today. I’m standing outside the apartment, waiting for my fitness friend to accompany me to the gym. I see the sap weeping out of the tips of the pine tree beside me. I know sap. It’s the vital circulating fluid in the tree. A tree’s sap carries all the nutrients to every part of the tree, much like our own vascular system.
The sap must circulate and deliver the nutrients in a closed system. I learn that this pine tree isn’t supposed to leak sap. A tree leaks sap when it experiences a wound or when excess pressure builds up in the tree.
When we use the word sap as a verb, it means to drain vitality (as in, I was sapped of my strength). I think about the reasons why we become sapped. I think about ways we become wounded and what sources of pressure cause our “vital circulating fluid” to drain out.
A woman asks me today how I stay in balance. She wonders how I find energy and how I refresh. I think about sap. You have to attend to where your wounds are. You have to manage sources of pressure before you’re sapped of strength. I’m learning to circulate and deliver God’s truth to every wound and every stress.
Living with flair means we know how to circulate and deliver what our mind and body need before we’re sapped.
I’m baking a carrot cake for my husband’s birthday (Happy Birthday!), and I notice the instructions for “higher altitudes.” I see the detailed changes for baking when you happen to be up in the mountains. Apparently, up that high, the altitude’s low pressure creates a lower boiling point for water. You have to cook your pasta longer in Denver than you do in Boston because the water boiling in Denver isn’t at hot.
Even though it’s boiling, it’s a different temperature.
It’s not just boiling point. Baked goods rise faster, ingredients stick to the pans more, and recipes need more heat to cook. You can’t trust what you’re used to when your environment changes.
A change in pressure changes everything. Great cooks don’t abandon their recipes; they adapt. They measure different amounts to compensate for changes in elevation. You add an extra egg, more flour, more liquid, more heat. You diminish sugar, baking powder, and fat.
All day, I consider how changes in atmospheric pressure influence behavior at the molecular level. I think about “pressure” in a new way.
When my own “pressure” changes by forces around me (whether family or career), I don’t need to lose control. I just have to remember to make simple changes to accommodate for added stress. I have to remember that I (my collective molecules) behave differently in different environments (as even tiny molecules do). I might need to add in more of this and remove some of that so I can do what I’m supposed to do.
Journal: When I’m feeling new pressure, what can I do to relax and keep perspective?