Imagine how it must have been for the indigenous Americans and early settlers who survived
winter on rations of dried meat, fish and roots, when the sweet, syrup was tapped and boiled then poured on the snow.
Knowing how the sweetness promised the change of seasons and broke the monotony of simple, bland foods, I thought of the traditional pygmy peoples of Africa whose third most common cause of death was falling from trees while gathering honey. (The first was being trampled by large animals; the second was falling into the fire at night after smoking powerful tobacco.) What a joy for those waiting on the ground for a mouthful of thick, sticky pleasure in a life of game, grubs and roots and shoots. (And a greater joy if the gatherer survived the climb!)