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Hangin’ in the Hammock

I hung new hammock the other day; the ropes on the old one had broken in places leaving a hole in it. I had tried repairing it, but rope ages poorly in the weather and after fixing one spot, it would quickly break in another. I was able to immediately find an exact replacement – one of the advantages of using Amazon so much. Why an exact replacement you may ask? Hammocks are inherently unique in how they hang, where they fit. The location I had hung the old one – the tree spacing etc. – was predicated on that particular hammock. While I could certainly have modified whatever was necessary to suit a new one, I really liked the setup and wanted a “plug and play” solution. Plus, the old one had served us well; it was a good hammock. So I bought an exact replacement, hung it up, and inside 5 minutes, I was done. And yesterday, I spent a glorious hour in it.

I am not typically a hammock person and am much more likely to sit on a stump of old log than lay in a hammock. And I rarely stay in one spot for more than 10 or 15 minutes outside – much prefer to keep moving. But this time I didn’t – I stayed there, I laid there, and I didn’t move for what seemed like forever. I love to talk about perception and have often mentioned Einstein’s unique description of relativity: “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” That hammock became a hot stove and a pretty girl to me in that the hour in that is lasted an eternity and simultaneously was over in the blink of an eye.

Laying and looking up there was nothing but green everywhere, but not one or ten or even fifty shades of green – there was every possible shade, tone, and hue of the color you could ever imagine. And the colors all changed as the light changed with the sun coming and going through the clouds and the leaf canopy as the trees moved. The breezes would sweep through, flow actually, much like a swirling stream winding its way along with twists and turns; but not just horizontally – vertically as well. One set of leaves high up would begin to quiver and quake while all the others remained quiet. Then, it would move, almost jump, down to the lower level, bringing a whole different set of leaves to life with dance. The dance would begin with a single leaf, spreading quickly to other leaves on the branch, then other branches on the tree, just as quickly leaving it – or not – and moving to another leaf on another tree to spread the rhythm. The summer breezes in the forest are secretive and serendipitous; they come and they go suddenly, just as suddenly surprising you from behind. Truly magical. And the light! The sparkling and shimmering of the sunlight as the leaves would bend and dance with the breezes was endlessly evolving much like a unpredictable kaleidoscope spun by some cosmic hand.

Those moments spent just lying still and being immersed in Nature’s daily dance of summer were priceless and unforgettable. It happens every moment of every day, is completely free, and yet so many of us never notice it and certainly don’t take advantage of it. Whether the respite is two minutes or an hour, taking the time to give yourself that gift is tremendously important; especially in these turbulent and chaotic times. Please treat yourself dear reader, find some time and a quiet place and just watch nature flourish around you – you’ll be glad you did!

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