Lying in a hammock

I walked along the path surrounding the lake, avoiding the geese droppings but purposefully steeping on the leaves to hear their satisfying crunch noise. I was on a mission to find a good reflection spot. However, as I neared the area in front of Lakeview, I came across the hammocks, unoccupied, swaying in the wind and inviting me in the sit down and relax. It was time for a break anyways.

The crunchy leaves!

The crunchy leaves!

I sit down and take in my surroundings. It was a great day—sunny, 75 degrees, a little breezy but not enough to mess up your hair. I might as well reflect here. A squirrel scurried up the loblolly pine to my right while a leaf headed straight for my face from the left. The ducks swam the lake, some with their heads above water while others were diving under with their feet breaking the surface. The geese crowd the banks, looking for any scrap of food they could find. Feathers dot the ground among the leaves, flying away with even the slightest gust of wind.

The view from my reflection spot

The view from my reflection spot

The view from my reflection spot (pt.2)

The view from my reflection spot (pt.2)

I lie down. The sides of the hammock cocoon me and form a barrier to all the tasks I should be doing but have neglected to do so. Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly with black spots, fluttering like a leaf in wind. I close my eyes. I can feel the rays of sunlight seeping through the swaying canopy of sweet gums and loblolly pines and onto my face. I hear a dog in the distance—and the owner trying to calm it down. Suddenly there is the thunder of sneakers hitting the asphalt, as a group of runners breeze by, but then there’s silence. Cronan’s ideas of wilderness come to mind—this is an escape, I am in the sublime in my own backyard. However, my thought process is broken by the roar of a car engine coming from behind my head, reminding me that while I may only be facing the serenity of the lake, there is a whole world going on around me.



I continue to lay there with my eyes closed. The occasional pang of the bat hitting the ball can be heard from the baseball field while a few quacks can be heard from the lake. However, overall, everything seemed calm and carefree from my position in the hammock.

Triceragoose let out a loud yelp pulling me out of my thoughts. As I grudgingly lift myself out of the hammock—my comfy piece of heaven—I welcome myself back into the real world, full of lists of things to accomplish with a lack of time to actually accomplish them. The sublime is gone. However, I hope to be back in that state sometime soon.

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2 Responses to Lying in a hammock

  1. TRL says:

    Some fantastic elements in this piece. I especially appreciated how your observations spanned a range of scales and how you linked to multiple senses. Fine beginning, but would be interesting to see a future post that began with something quite different from “I returned to my reflection spot.” Try giving yourself at least 10 mins of just sitting quietly before even consciously thinking about what to write. I’d be curious to see what bubbles up.

  2. Sanitra Desai says:

    The Return:

    It was dark. I had decided to switch it up a bit and see if the feeling I associate with my reflection spot would change if I came at night. Therefore, here I was at 10:34 pm, lying in my beloved hammock and again, avoiding all responsibilities I left behind with my backpack in the library.

    It was really different at night. I could no longer hear the sound of the metal bat hitting the baseball or the sudden roar of a car engine coming to life. It was as if the world had actually stopped. The sublime I felt the last time I was here could have extended for a longer period of time, but, as the seasons change and the nights become longer, the temperatures become colder. Therefore, there I was, shivering in the hammock at 10:42pm, watching my breath, like a puff of warm fog intruding on the cold air.

    I began to think about the Monacans living right along the river’s floodplain and the Powhatans living in their little wigwams. How did they survive at night? They must’ve been cold. How did they survive winters?

    I was, again, brought out of my thoughts. However, instead of it being caused by the triceragoose yelping for attention, it was due to the overwhelming amount of crickets chirping all around me that I had failed to notice before. The world was still alive around me, just in a different way. As the male crickets continued to sing their song, I walked back to the library, ready for an all nighter.

    Update: RIP to my reflection spot, as it no longer exists (the hammocks were ripped down)

    **it would not let me post pictures in the comments

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