It happens to me every year. Sometime about the end of June, when our CSA is in full swing and the daylight’s stretching past 8 p.m., I marvel at the sweetness of the season around me, so hot and bright and full. We open our fridge and it’s packed with greens. We go to the store and come home with pints of blueberries. Our coats are stuffed in the closet, far away from everyday thought, and our flip-flops are near the door, ready to be slipped on as we pop out for an afternoon walk or drive. I love summer in part because of treasures like these that it gives me: greater freedom, greater daytime, a rich color palette. But I love it most for the very fact that it is so clearly, undeniably being given to me, not being earned or created on my own. Whether or not I think about the seasons, whether or not I remember that April or May in Nashville usually means higher temps, the earth knows to switch, day by day, progressively to summer, just like it will know to switch, day by day, to fall when the months move on. The seasons are like promises being made and kept to us each year, tangible consequences of an earlier decree we are all counting on, whether we know it or not.
This is something Kimberley Hasselbrink, the blogger behind The Year in Food and author of the new cookbook Vibrant Food, understands. On her blog and in her book, she celebrates the gifts of each season with photos and recipes that highlight the colors and tastes specific to the various times of year. This blueberry peach crisp, for example, adapted from a triple-berry peach crisp in the book, is the third Vibrant Food recipe we’ve eaten and enjoyed over the last few weeks, each one selected based on what we’d been picking up on Monday nights or seeing on sale at the grocery when we shop. When we came home Saturday afternoon with a giant box of blueberries (there was a 2 for $6 sale!), it was only natural to pull out the recipe she designed to make the most of summer berries. Designed to be less sweet than typical crisps, this version is also easily gluten-free, with a crumbly topping made of almonds and oats.
The day after we ate it, fresh from the oven and topped with homemade ice cream, we stood in an auditorium of people, singing lyrics about the hand of God in “creation’s grand design.” As my mouth formed the words “children of the promise” and moved to the one that ends “walk by faith and not by sight,” I thought about the post I wrote less than a week ago, wrestling with questions about finances and planning and expenses I wished I didn’t have. It is hard to feel poor when I look at the created world around me, the one of blue skies and shocking thunder and a pot that’s growing tomato vines on my front porch. It is also hard to feel afraid when I think about the hands that have had me through every life season—when I totaled my car my junior year of college, when I moved home as a college-grad 21-year-old and worked as a receptionist, when I had my heart broken, when I was in so much physical pain I almost didn’t want to go on. When I need my heart pointed to Him, when I need reminders He is worthy of all trust, I need only look at how He’s never left me in all of those moments, how He’s always been the one sustaining me, how He’s encouraged me through His Word and through people and through reminders that He is the One who keeps every promise, year after year sending sun and rain to make the blueberries that today are baked and buried under ice cream on my plate.