Effortless Surrender

by Belinda Munoz on July 23, 2012


Brambles with berries, who can resist? I pluck a plump fruit, staining my thumb with its juice. I pause, remembering last summer’s crop, wondering if this is as sweet as it looks. Summer seems to be the season when I’m most keenly aware of how quickly time flies. It has a distinct character of aliveness that makes sensing, feeling and paying attention effortless, thus making moments of presence ripe for both nostalgia and anticipation.

Thirteen summers.
I’ve been spending a lot of quality time with my son these past few weeks. My watchful eye is glued to him and I often get that look easily spotted on any random parent’s face — a combination of love, pride and joy tinged with a sliver of constant letting go. Then I get to thinking: thirteen summers. Thirteen summers ago, I got married to a wonderful man having no plans or expectations of shuttling a happy kid with calloused hands from climbing trees. If I’m lucky, I’ll have thirteen more summers of co-parenting, of guessing my way through this gig before he flies the coop.

Surrender to summer.
Things that tether an up-and-up, face-forward approach to living — relationships, commitment, obligation, responsibility — have a natural way of moving along with each season. But then there’s the occasional need to defect from a reliable rhythm by embarking on an adventure, a detour, a retreat. These things, while they interrupt momentum, make the pause worthwhile as they add volume and dimension to a life well lived.

Summer helps me remember what I all too often forget:
*that vigorous play is invigorating
*that water fuels everything that lives
*that seasons are irretrievable but memories are not
*that each day is made for memory-making
*that popsicles bring out the kid in everyone
*that fun is not meant to be merely optional

Somehow, surrender seems easier in the summer. Schedules are fluid when there are berries to pick. Buttoned-down for business seems silly when everybody else is at the beach. Floating along is effortless in the warmth of the sun. So I give in. All too soon, it will turn into a howling wind leaving an aftermath of shriveled leaves crumbling underfoot.


What have you surrendered to this summer?
What memories have you made this summer?


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TheKitchenWitch July 23, 2012 at 7:50 am

I’m trying to surrender to the chaos of summer (we have overscheduled the children). I think next year I need to remember to savor and take things slow. I hate to have summer running past us.


2 ayala July 23, 2012 at 8:28 am

A beautiful post, Belinda. I love summer as well …. I hope all your summers are filled with love. My wedding anniversary is tomorrow 🙂 I have missed your posts and I am so happy that you are enjoying the extra time with your son in sweet surrender of the season. 🙂


3 Belinda July 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

My anniversary is tomorrow, too! Rome, Italy, 13 years ago on a sunny afternoon.

Congratulations to both of us! xx


4 ayala July 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Congratulations ! Many many more! Xoxo


5 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri July 23, 2012 at 9:50 am

I love how time falls like a waterfall during the summer. Less scheduled time and more energy to embrace the slowness of it all. Glad you are enjoying your time with your family. xoxo


6 One Love Around the World: Janny T. July 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I like the SUN so I love the summer! THank you Belinda for another wonderful one.


7 BigLittleWolf July 24, 2012 at 9:06 pm

This is lovely and peaceful and wise, Belinda.

You remind me that I haven’t surrendered to summer, though I’m trying to keep up with a 20-minute walk in the sunshine, on the days there is sunshine. That in itself is stress-reducing and energizing. And that ain’t bad…


8 Patty - Why Not Start Now? July 24, 2012 at 11:17 pm

A few days I ago I realized that we’re more than halfway through summer and I sure as hell better surrender (fully) right now before it’s too late. So I did, and took a bunch of stuff off my calendar. I immediately felt lighter. (happy anniversary!)


9 Sara July 25, 2012 at 8:27 am

Belilnda — First of all, this was a lovely post.I agree with you about how summer, of all the seasons, seems to fly by.

The pictures of the blueberries make my mouth water. We seldom get them fresh where I live, but I do remember a summer in Vermont and eating berries off the vine. I don’t remember if they were blueberries, but they were good.

Since I returned from my trip overseas, I’ve been trying to catch up and keep energy up to do the things I love. A part of me truly wants to surrender to summer and just sit around, reading books and watching my cat sleep. I actually do this on the weekends, as well as a few days in the week. Consequently, I don’t have the excuse that I’m over-worked:~)

Thanks for the sigh of summer’s “lazy, hazy days.”


10 Robin July 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

What a lovely idea Belinda – surrender to summer. I can almost imagine it.

But if truth be told, I am a fan of autumn, when the air turns cool and the leaves change colors. It is my favorite time of year. It always has been. Summers on the east coast are really humid and this has been a very, very hot one. Did I mention the mosquitoes? I must admit that I have spent most of my summer anticipating its end, so that the next season – fall – can arrive. After reading your post, I am going to rethink my perspective; at least for what remains of summer.

Happy Anniversary!


11 The Exception July 31, 2012 at 8:35 am

Oh to surrender. Right now I am surrendering to humidity and heat and thus I have resorted to the reality that I am happy being stuck by the window with the laptop in the coffee house over exploring outside. *sigh* I do love summer but am finding that it doesn’t offer the refuge that it once did – and more due to my own schedule over my daughter’s.


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