Jul 29, 2014

The Camping Hammock

Yesterday when I went out early in the morning with the girls I knew it was going to be a windy day. The forecast included this information and it was already windy at 6:15am when Maddie and Morgan visited the backyard to do their business.   If I remember correctly we had 20 to 25 MPH winds in the Atlanta area, certainly in the neighborhood we had high energy, very active wind conditions.  The start of the day was refreshing.

After a morning of working on projects, paying bills, reading and doing laundry, I took a break for lunch and then went to the gym. When I got home Maddie and Morgan got their “promised” pool time, which usually takes 30 to 45 minutes depending on how active they are.  They have a routine and we usually follow it for their maximum enjoyment, for their safety and to be able to recycle the water from the pool. 

Usually by 3:30pm one of the corners of the back patio is nicely shaded and is the perfect location for the camping hammock. Not sure who designed this apparatus, it takes all of 3 minutes to set up and not much strength is required.  Maddie and Morgan always close by supervising. 

While I was setting up the hammock, I gave myself permission to do nothing and simply enjoy the windy, cool afternoon for about 45 minutes.  Maddie and Morgan usually have their dinner around 4:30pm, so I thought it was OK to enjoy the hammock, the wind, the sunshine and the beautiful white clouds traveling in the sky, until it was time to feed them.

I am not sure all of the factors, perhaps the combination of the perfect sky coupled with the lively tempo and song of the winds, after I fed the girls, I went back out and enjoyed the afternoon in the hammock until almost 7pm. 

The large tree from Brian’s house next door was singing.  The leaves moved in unison, sometimes fast, sometimes very fast, the sounds curious and soothing.  I closed my eyes and imagined being on a hill top conversing with the universe.  The movement of the chimes in the other corner of the patio a wonderful compliment, it was like someone had planned for all these things to happen at the same time, creating moments of perfection.  

Mother Nature and a platoon of Angels, thank you ! 

For some time Maddie got up in the hammock with me, she settled herself in the down position or what she also knows as  “going Night Night”, she closed her eyes and was happy to be still. Morgan was not far away, sitting straight up, attentive, moving her head a bit from side to side. I think she was observing the leaves as they were being tossed around by the wind gusts. 

Maybe it was me paying attention, being focused, enjoying with purpose the manifestation of nature, noticing the sharp contrast of the white and blue sky, recognizing the extra freshness of the air, celebrating the tree song melodies.

Maybe it was the sway of the big pine trees, like giant overstuffed chorus dancers or the small hosta plants screaming, the wind, its too fast, too much. My time on the patio yesterday in the camping hammock was perfect.  I don’t know how else to describe.

After I came inside, I was overwhelmed with a current of joy. I know being in a hammock had much to do with this feeling, hammocks for me are vessels that carry and conjure up wonderful life long memories.  

The winds yesterday were certainly close cousins to breeze and winds I’ve met in Arraijan in Panama or enjoyed at Isla Perro in the San Blas Islands or toasted at Compass Point in the Bahamas. 

The few hours on the patio were not planned; there was a tiny bit of delight in doing nothing, like I was getting away with something I am not supposed to do.  In that delight I tried as much as I could to recognize and realize simple, yet profound gratitude. 

I was thankful for the visit from the wind, I was appreciative for being able to be there for a few hours in the afternoon doing nothing.  For 33 years in my life, the notion of not being productive was rare, especially at 4pm on a weekday.  It was as if I had robbed time from an important to do list or project.  Amazing how a type A brain can be programmed.

In the backyard yesterday, the afternoon was perfect.