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Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Rightness of Hammocks


There is a rightness in hammocks, rightness with calm and balance. There is a natural melding, needless of any artificial effort. I lay in my hammock, allowing the rightness and harmony to claim my soul. The rolling sound of waves, the chirps of birds, the muted conversations of other vacationers, all combine into a complete existence, and the rightness of being here, the significance of now. This is not escapism, this is acceptance.
Thoughts of the mind form slowly with the gentle motion of the hammock’s swaying. The question floats lightly across my mind. Which book to read today? I enjoy reading two books at once. This allows for a difference in pace, an intellectual gear change. Today I select one scholarly book about anthropology, and secondly, a favorite genre of mine, a totally impossible SciFi story. I will read the SciFi book for hours, eventually growing tired of space battles, and then open the anthropology book to read of newly discovered cave man paintings.
Life is indeed good.
Most anyone can do this. That is, go on vacation, then lie in a hammock and read a book, the bar is low for hammocking. This simple and safe enjoyment was not always widely available. I imagine my ancestors relaxed with a sword close at hand; I imagine many of my ancestors could not read. The oral history of my family tells of military sergeants, Irish potato famines, horse thieves and war heroes. Yet, I lie in a hammock beside Caribbean waters. Mostly safe (there is always danger, usually when we least expect), mostly relaxed (situational awareness should always be maintained), and a little bit cocky (I would have been a good army sergeant).
So, here I am, an American on vacation, wearing the same shorts for days, bargaining the price of a new hammock, enjoying maid service and breakfast at noon, total relaxation, with the best of the modern world, all at very reasonable prices. My Caribbean vacations orbit around the hammock, some prefer the beach lounge, while others a towel on the sand, all excellent choices. The sand is clean, white and soft, almost powdery, perfect for bare-footing or, for turtles laying eggs.
The turtles come at night; dark shadows slowly raising from the water, calmly crawling ashore, then with some deep instinct they select a nesting spot. Using their hind fins they scoop out a pit the depth of your arm, lay a hundred or more eggs, cover the nest with sand, and then lumber back into the warm Caribbean waters. I am still amazed by all this, even after years of observation. Two to three months later the baby turtles will hatch. Both of these events are a natural wonderment that enchants children and captures adults.
To watch this marvel of nature you must go to the turtle, the turtles will not come to you. There are no onerous rules to follow this adventure, basically let things be, let things happen. Nature does quite well without us humans interfering. I find a hammock the perfect perch while waiting for the turtles, and a book passes time nicely.
I am just another American on vacation in Akumal, Mexico.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I got a taste of relaxation of a hammock when I was on vacation too. I was so comfortable and relaxed I ended up buying one for my backyard, I miss looking at the blue water but it's still just as relaxing.