Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Hammock

All week I have been eyeing the hammock in the back yard of the villa we've been at. It's in the middle of a lightly wooded area near the edge of the marsh with enough of a clearing that you can feel secluded but not isolated. I've not seen anyone using it this week which really surprised me. Our guide said there are 18 hammocks available, yet this one - and the one a little bit away - have not seen use - at least not when I've been watching from our balcony.

So today I wandered over to try it out. I've not done much hammocking in my life, if there is even such a word. But I've seen lots of episodes of Gilligan's Island and America's Funniest (Home) Videos to know that there is a trick to getting on and off a hammock and that for an inexperienced hammock-user, it's probably best to not have an audience.

Fortunately this hammock is secured with heavy chains and ropes and attached to wooden posts, so structurally the thing wasn't going anywhere. It was also positioned low enough to the ground for a shorter person such as myself to be able to just lower herself into it as if sitting on a chair. Easy as pie and no mishap!

There is something so calming and soothing about swinging in a hammock, looking straight up into the sky (just make sure to check the position of the sun before deciding which end to put your head or you might have to readjust). The pine trees surrounding my hammock were so very tall and full of pinecones. Thankfully the wind wasn't blowing, so I wasn't concerned about a stray pinecone falling on me. I could watch the birds flying over, darting here and there. I could listen to the squirrels scampering across the clearing.

Each of my children came and joined me on the hammock. It was nice to lay beside each other, with my head at one end and theirs at the other, to talk about whatever came to mind. To just be quiet together. To enjoy each other's company without distraction.

And later today, as the sun was beginning its late afternoon descent, the hammock was vacant. I took a magazine, intending to read in the quiet, cool place. But somehow the gentle swaying of the hammock rocked me to sleep.

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