Hammock Time

Last summer, I was in Asia for nearly a month-long business trip. Aside from meetings and being on the constant go, I also wanted to get a hold of some nice hammocks to bring home. (Wouldn’t hammock hunting would be a cool travel hobby?)

Between all the planning, meetings, flying, busing, cab rides, and even scooting around on my own on a moped, I was able to buy a seemingly thin and flimsy fish-net one at random from a man walking the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (the old “Saigon”) selling hammocks. While there was an array of colours to choose from, I went with a neutral colour–grey to start my collection.

I came back with a lot of neat souvenirs to give away, but only one hammock for myself. I wish I had picked up a few more.

Since last summer, I really hadn’t touch that hammock–other than to look at it. I simply don’t have the set up for it. I don’t have trees of the proper distance from each other and I don’t have a balcony either. So it sits in the same plastic bag as when it was sold to me.

Of course there are hammock stands that can be used if you have nowhere to anchor or tie your hammock, and it’s also great for the outdoors as patio furniture. But that’s still another piece of furniture I have to introduce to my home when I have been going through a major purge since the beginning of this year.

Then I met Dylan at a local hammock store. (Yes, I was looking for more hammocks.) He invited me to have a seat in the chair hammock. Looking at the thin Mayan weave piece, I was a bit hesitant. But the moment I lifted my feet off the ground, fully immersed in the hammock, it all felt like heaven. Just suspending in the air, floating on a swing you can lean back on. The experience brought an immediate smile to my face. My mouth widened and the delight on my face grew by the second. I was on cloud nine.

Looking up, the only thing holding my weight was a single hook screwed into a support beam. Immediately I recalled the other reason I had come there. “I live in a typical home with drywall. I don’t have exposed support beams. How do I… Where can I anchor this?” I asked Dylan. He advised to locate the ceiling joists using a stud finder. “Just be sure to get it as dead centre as possible.” That is it! This is for a chair hammock, so only one anchor is needed. For a sleeping hammock, you will need to anchor at both ends. He adds, “the other great thing about hammocks is that you can easily take them off the hardware and stow them away.” What great advice!

I’ve always had a penchant for hammocks. There is this indefinable quality about them. A je ne sais quoi charm and appeal they have on me. It is the essence of relaxation, of serenity, of stillness, and of tranquility. It is probably why hammocks are best placed in areas of peace, quietness, and retreat. In the still garden, private poolside, placid lakeside, a quiet balcony, your sanctuary hideaway.

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