For about as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by hammocks. The image of someone stretched out on a piece of canvas, gently swaying in the breeze beneath the shade of two trees always struck me as the ultimate notion of peaceful rest and relaxation. I was also struck by the entertainment potential of watching someone trying to get into one for the first time.
I can’t actually remember my first effort, but I think I was a teenager. Apparently I managed to sit near the center, pull my legs up and pivot on my rear end and get myself set into place without doing a Hollywood Flip. Otherwise, I’m confident my memory would be rather vivid in regard to the experience.
After several decades of thinking I’d really enjoy having one, I finally decided to buy a hammock. For several weeks I kept seeing ads on Facebook for a “free” hammock. I knew the price would actually be disguised as shipping and handling costs or something like that. But, figuring it would be worth twenty bucks and had a money-back guarantee, I finally clicked “Submit” on Fox Outfitters’ shopping cart page.
When I also finally checked the mail this weekend, I found my hammock stuffed into the box.
No, friends and neighbors, Randa and I do not have a huge mailbox. Just the usual off-the-shelf at Wal-Mart size. Off-the-shelf at Wal-Mart from twenty or thirty years ago probably. It’s darn near amazing how compact a double-size hammock can be when it’s made from nylon.
Another thing that amazed me or at least pleasantly surprised me was how easy it was to hang my hammock using the handy tree straps that were included at no extra charge. In very short order, I had that new favorite thing hanging from the heavy frame timbers of our corner porch. It would work better for hammock hanging if those posts were about four feet further apart. It would not work better for supporting rafters, though, so I reckon I will leave the posts where they are, at least for the foreseeable future.
Another thing I foresee is spending a fair amount of time in the cool breeze of the evenings, reflecting on the beauty of the surrounding trees. Reflecting on the happenings of the day and speculating about the days to come. A hammock seems like a right good spot for that, a good place for letting go, for forgiving and forgetting. A good place for focusing on whatever things are lovely, whatever things are pure and pleasant, whatever things are honorable, worthy of praise…
Any place where we do that would seem like a good place, I think.