Did you like swinging as a child? The freedom of starting slowly, back and forth and working your whole body until the swing flew up as high as the supporting bar and you could see over the top of it. The split second where your upward momentum stopped before the graceful plummeting arc down, the air rushing past your ears. And then, when you got brave – ending the downward arc by jumping off the swing, flying for a second before hitting the gravel. Ugh. Why did they have so much gravel under the rusty hot metal playground equipment in the 70’s?
I would still love swinging just as much now as a grown up…if they only made swings that fit my womanly hips without giving me bruises. Tragic. No matter though – I’ve found my new love, my sanity, my happy place: my hammock. I spent an entire summer in a hammock when I was 14 – and was entirely happy. It was one of those white string ones, and I strung it up on the back deck in the way of nearly anyone who wanted to walk out to the backyard. But seeing as I was the eldest child and, let’s face it, a moody 14 year old, everyone gave me a wide berth and I had the place all to myself as no-one wanted to poke that particular dragon. A total win/win!
Last year I asked for a hammock for my birthday and got one for Christmas. Good move SH. It’s my best pressie ever. This hammock is a fully enclosed fabric one rather than the old string net type hammock (the kind I’m not hopeful would contain me quite the same way it did when I was a long limbed, bony kid) which means I can prop in it with my toast and coffee and the dog can’t snatch the crusts. Plus it’s a double which means I can lie in it longways (and it will coccoon me if I adjust things like so), or sit in it across-ways, OR I can share it, which is quite nice. I’ve had good chats with people and wine or coffee and swinging while the sun sets or rises, and the nature of the shared space means the vibe is always nice. I don’t think you can do angry talking in a hammock.
I’m not sure why this hammock has become such a haven; it’s a bit like the blissed out feeling I get when I get to the beach…and part of it is the immersion in my surroundings: being outside, the birds, the breeze, the sounds…and the subtle rocking provides the movement of the waves. Or like my friend reckons – in it I feel weightless, buoyant and hidden from the world…nothing to be sneezed at either way. But whether it’s a swinging thing, a magical hiding place, or a cocooning quiet place – for me, it’s worth its scant weight in gold because whether I’m sharing it or in it alone, it’s my happy place and EVERYONE needs a happy place, right?
What’s your happy place?