Friday, September 17, 2010
Object #17 Hammock
At our old house there were two huge trees out in back that were the perfect distance apart for hanging a hammock between them. At the new house there are many, many trees, but no two have that perfect spacing for a hammock. And we have to have a hammock. We do.
Do you know the special joys of a hammock? Not one of those flat, flippy things with the rods across the ends. I'm talking about a simple affair—a length of sturdy fabric, preferable woven so that the warp threads can be braided into a sturdy rope at each end. Climb into one of these and you are in a cocoon. Add a small pillow, a slight breeze, a cool drink, a good book and you are in heaven.
As our yard progressed we pondered the hammock problem. We could have gotten one of those metal hammock stands, but there is something kind of goofy and, well, unnatural about those things. One day, several weeks ago Ray had to cut down a small tree. The next morning I saw the nice, straight trunk, stripped of all of its limbs, laying out by the creek and Ray digging a hole. I read his mind. I knew just where this was headed. He stood the tree trunk upright in the hole and poured concrete around it. I held it while he straightened it and braced it to keep it upright until the concrete cured. Now the hammock hangs next to the creek. That log section sits nearby to hold one's drink and book. The bare tree trunk looks a little stark, but we planted a clematis next to it and are encouraging it to wind its way up the bare trunk. Perhaps it needs a little art as well. I'm thinking...
This is one of several hammocks we bought in Ecuador. One still hangs at the old house. The photo only hints at how colorful and beautiful they are. Normally, in Ecuador they are hung between the pillars that support the porches on their houses. You buy them in the markets or at the source—the famous craft market in Otavalo. They are very inexpensive. That's where we have got them, along with rugs, wall hangings, clothes, ponchos, bags and textiles of all kinds.
Below is a favorite Ecuador photo—my friend, Muriel, and me, relaxing in the hammocks at Hostal La Luna, near Otavalo. It is one of the most peaceful, beautiful places in the world, in my humble opinion.