May 09, 2005

Summer nap


boy in hammock, originally uploaded by jo(e).

Here's the problem with being an anonymous blogger during photo month: most of my photographs have people in them! And almost always those people are members of my family. So I find myself looking through photos to find one in which you can't see the faces.

So here is yet another family member taking a nap. Boy in Black is sleeping in the hammock at camp last Memorial Day weekend. The hammock was a present from me to the whole family one Christmas years ago. At the time, I was very pregnant, with two small kids at home, and did not feel like doing any Christmas shopping. I come from a family who is pretty random about gift giving -- if we don't have time or money, we don't bother, and no one cares -- but I came up with the idea of ordering a hammock through a catalogue and just presenting it to my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews as one joint gift. The hammock has hung at camp ever since, often with several people crowding into it at once.

The hammock swings between oak trees that are older than any of us, even my Dad. The breeze off the river and the deep shade of the oak leaves keep the spot cool. While you sway lazily on the hammock, you can hear chipmunks rustling about, running up the oak tree -- and often the sound of the kids splashing down near the dock. If you look toward the river, you can see the marsh, acres and acres of cattails, a preserve protected by one tenuous piece of legislation. A famous battle was once fought in this creek -- and farmers still sometimes find canonballs and such in nearby fields. In May, the cattails are just beginning to grow, but by July they will be a lush expanse of rippling gold and green.

Camp has always been a place for naps. I think that is what happens when we are separated from our telephones, computers, televisions, answering machines --our busy schedules, our frantic pace of life. In the simple world of camp, the only worries we ever have are arguing about which game to play next or which snack to eat next or which island to go to for a swim. So it's natural in late afternoon, returning sunburned from a swim in icy water, for every family member to find a spot where he can close his eyes and dream.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love your comment that camps are for naps. There is not much sweeter in the world than curling up after a lunch and a hike and a swim and drowsing while the soft sound of a cool breeze rustles in harmony with the buzzing of insects.

(I know that is horrifically purple prose, but that's what happens when I try to stuff too much into one sentence.)

Rana

Friday Mom said...

Your family really knows how to relax. I could use a lesson...

Phantom Scribbler said...

Sigh. Will you adopt me?

Yankee T said...

I love a nap in a hammock, and I love the way you write...have I said that lately?

reverendmother said...

Ok, one of my guilty pleasures is reading Oprah's magazine... I don't go in for most of the Oprah franchise, but I do like most of the mag, particularly Breathing Space, which is usually a lush two-page photograph of some peaceful, scene that just makes me sigh.

A roundabout way of saying, these pictures have been breathing space for me. Thanks.

Oscar Madison said...

What a wonderful photo!

I'm a fan of pseudonymous blogging, though its demand of occasional self-editing can be frustrating sometimes. In this instance, though, your son facing away from the camera makes that photo pure poetry.

timna said...

I love napping in a hammock. I slow down.
Mine was a mother's day present. I thought I wanted a laptop. this was a better choice.
great picture!