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October 29 , 2007

The Wisdom Of The Trees

Ryan's Gift


Book summary The Wisdom of the Trees is really two sides of a coin in its intent. It was inspired by an experience that I had while helping some friends make maple syrup. They had a magnificent maple forest and invited my husband and I to help them tap the trees. Since I’m an avid maple syrup lover and had been curious about the actual process of taking it from the trees through its transformation into something so delicious and precious that it has become costly to buy, I was excited to join in the fun and learn about the process too. Because my experience with the trees during this tapping was so mind boggling to me, I wanted to share it with children while they are young enough to incorporate a deeper appreciation of nature and gratitude for what nature provides into their viewpoints. The sharing came out in the form of a children’s fiction story based on my actual experience. In the story, my main character is a young, pre-teen aged boy named Ryan. His family, including a younger sister and several pets, has just moved from a city life into the country, and Ryan is not doing well. His unhappiness with the move affects everyone around him, with his parents worrying that they have made a mistake in thinking the move would be good for all of them. To make matters worse for Ryan, his sister is blissfully happy, while he mopes about wishing he were back with his friends and at his old school. The crux of the story occurs when the family decides on an outing to help out at a maple tree farm, and Ryan reluctantly accompanies them. During their time on the farm, surprising events occur that result in a powerful shift in Ryan’s attitude, transforming his outlook and giving him a new sense of purpose. Since the experience itself was real, the liberties I took were in creating a character who reflected me at that age and what I wished might have happened to me.
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