I happened upon some hammocks today.
They were set out for the summer students at a community college I like, nearby where I now work.
I took a bio course at this school once, when I had a different dream for how I was going to live my life. I thought about signing up for a writing class for the fall, or editing some old poetry in the library, but the hammock could not be resisted.
Instead, I dared to stop and stare up at the perfect blue August day through an old oak tree, full of those wonderfully predictable yet beautifully shaped leaves with those trusty acorns at attention. I reveled in this small act of rebellion and soaked in the heat of the late noon sun—heat so strong it is only enjoyable when laying out to bake, like bread.
Somehow now in today’s world, laying in a hammock feels downright decadent. Tomorrow I may rebel and revel again, after my shift at the café, where I work so hard I sweat and sometimes cut my hands accidentally and bleed. Today, I am grateful for my renewed belief that the pursuit of sweet relaxed nothingness should be a priority and worth so much more to me—and all of us.
Imagine how good we could all feel if we stopped and relaxed more often instead of buying something, doing something, eating something, drinking something, smoking something, or being obsessed with how many dollars or credits we can make or take, how many likes things we do or post will get us, or what we can get if we do such and such, and if we don’t do it, how that will affect our status. These are the things that keep us from the more important and seemingly rebellious act of slowing down and sitting down, or daring to even literally lay down in a comfy hammock.
I personally think we need to get back to swinging between two trees and smiling up at all those green leaves and someday-dreams-to-be. Maybe happiness does grow on trees. Maybe looking up or closing our eyes is all we need.
Maybe I believe in the long distance, high-fiving of leaves from the sacred trees and the wisdom of the inner peace inside you and me.