I have been pining for a swing or hammock like sanctuary in the backyard for ages. A few weeks ago we were in IKEA buying some picture frames and bins for chicken things. We were on our way towards the checkout line when we passed a lovely hammock and hammock stand and I skidded to a halt. Michael looked at me and said "If you can look me in the eye and tell me you would hang out in that hammock today, we'll get it." It was pouring buckets outside. The backyard was a swamp. He knew I couldn't say that I would and he also knew that we couldn't really afford it. Even at IKEA prices. So I pulled out my best moody teenager and slumped my shoulders and dragged my feet as we continued on to checkout. Michael left me there pouting while he went to rescue Smaland from the Cabbage.
On Saturday, we were in Home Depot getting things to build a fence around the garden and tomato cages. They have all the outdoor furniture right there when you walk in the door and I walked right straight over to all of it. Every thing was just too much of an expense, but then I saw some cloth hammocks on a shelf. They were only $20. I looked at Michael and asked "Do you think you could find a way to hang this between the clothes line pole and that tree in the back corner of the yard?" He replied with "Sure I can!" So we bought some rope and a couple of carabiners and on Sunday, Michael earned his knot tying merit badge. Later that day you could find me lounging in my new hammock.
I took a magazine, a notebook and a small pillow out and stretched out with the intention of actually reading that magazine. Instead I was soon lulled into semi consciousnesses by the sound of the wind rustling the leaves and the gentle sway of the hammock. The giant oak trees where in the process of shedding their long straggling flowers. The yard is coated with them and they stick to Josephine like Velcro. Yet, it was still pretty to watch as the strands drifted down from the tall limbs of the massive trees. Nature's confetti. If I turned my head to one side, I could see the chickens pecking around in their run with Josephine lounging in the shade of their nesting box. Josephine has claimed one of two spots on this particular day. If she's not guarding the chickens from under the nesting box, she's chewing on a stick near my feet under the hammock.
And for a moment, I don't think about getting up and folding clothes or washing the dishes from breakfast. I don't get antsy about being still for too long or that I'm being lazy and should get up and do some chore or another. I let myself surrender to the curves of the hammock. I watch the clouds swirl in the sky and I listen for noise. The only noise I hear though are the sounds of the occasionally passing car, the rustle of leaves in the breeze, the bounce of a ball as the neighborhood kids put together a basket ball game. I can hear the chickens and I can hear other birds. Mostly I listen to the stillness. After about five minutes of being in the hammock, I am completely at peace and I think, or maybe even say out loud, "this is the best thing."
I'm getting Michael new tires for his bicycle for Father's Day. It's something we've been talking about for some time now. The other day he asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, which I still feel odd about. I said "I got a hammock." and really, I'm good with that. Michael said that I can't retro fit a gift. Maybe I should tell him that I just want time to be in the hammock. Time can be a gift. Now I'm singing "Time in a Bottle", but changing the lyrics to "time in a hammock". It's true that there really never seems to be enough time to do the things I want to do. Time in my own little hammock sanctuary though, would probably make a really good gift. In fact it might even be the kind of gift we could all benefit from.
Here's to time spent in your own kind of hammock on this lovely Love Thursday.