Tonight we went cherry picking–something I love doing when the days of June dwindle into the heat of July. Standing in the evening shade cast by a low, squatty canopy, I looked up to the patch of blue breaking through the branches. There, shining like perfect spheres of glossy lipstick were the cherries that punctuate summer for my palate. Dangling in a barely-there breeze, sweet and juicy, they are, seemingly, the very essence of Michigan.
Summer means a lot of things to me. Traditionally it means traveling and campfires and the beach and grills. This summer we’re subtracting the travel due to what my husband calls “smart choices” an I call “self-induced torture.” I guess I never truly realized how much my spirit depends on travel for perspective and joy and kinship. Perhaps God’s trying to teach me to be content right here. But although I feel desperate to touch the ocean or walk in groves of old-growth trees, it’s not just nature and national parks that I miss.
It’s my friends. And picking cherries, cleaning strawberries, and anticipating blueberries only reminds me of the many times we did that together. Of the many meals we’ve shared under so many different skies. Of the late nights and laughter and dreaming. Of good food and blessings that burst forth, blooming from the earth.
It’s an unavoidable juxtaposition: being surrounded by farmer’s markets and fantastic weather and wonderful lakes while tears hide, tucked deeply in tired eyes. But the stain of fruit on my hands seems an apt representation of my heart right now: broken and laid open.
For another year.