Today, I was looking at our Pawley Island Hammock as it hung like it always does on summer days between two trees in the yard. I was thinking about how I’de begun to notice that the hammock’s ropes were becoming weathered and worn. The other day a single strand broke free leaving its knotted end behind clinging to the wooden support. It required immediate repair to prevent the entire network of rope from unraveling and falling apart.
So as I sat and looked at the hammock today, I wondered, “Why is this happening?”, because it’s really not that old. But upon reflection, I guess I left it out in the rain too often, so its advanced condition is partly due to neglect. It’s essential to take proper care of precious things, but sometimes we forget or we let life’s hustle distract us from what’s important, at least that is what I was thinking as I gazed upon the hammock.
I must have looked away for a while and admired a bird or a squirrel, because when I returned my gaze I noticed a long, loose strand of rope dangling and reaching out for the ground. I took it in my hand and rewove it and then tied it to a stronger rope. And as I did this, I noticed another strand that was badly frayed and on the point of popping loose and then another and I was afraid. I was afraid to sit in it and to swing freely like I love to do. I was afraid of falling.
But I can’t afford a new one, at least not today. So I sat in it and I swung and I will choose to do the same tomorrow if the weather permits. And when I do and if another strand breaks, then I will mend it too and I will sit and swing and hope the hammock has the strength to hold me for a time longer than the time it takes to replace it.
And maybe next time I will take proper care of such a precious thing.
ghfool ~ summer 2009