I just came across this great article thanks to Google Alerts and had to share it. Wallace Baine is a writer for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and yesterday he wrote a piece called “Great Hammocks I Have Known” in which he does an excellent job of summing up the joy of owning a hammock:
This summer, I plan to renew and deepen my relationship to my hammock. I plan to explore new avenues of intimacy and commitment to that wonderful backyard accessory that has always been there to support me — literally.
Yes, I do have a long and complicated history with hammocks, and if I do start a bucket list of exotic experiences, first on that list will be to engage in hammockry all over the world.
At the end of the article Wallace touches upon the importance of incorporating both relaxation and adventure into our lives and makes the point that instead of mindless napping, the hammock unleashes his creativity and inspires him to seek adventures:
Soon, however, I learned to respect the hammock and use it how it wants to be used. I learned that there is no sleep as delicious as a hammocked afternoon siesta on a summer afternoon. I learned that the act of reading is given whole new dimensions and colors when the reader is hanging in a sling between two trees.
But mostly I learned — attention: great Ph.D. dissertation idea ahead — that the human mind is liberated by the unique suspension offered by a hammock. Most people talk of having a-ha moments in the shower. When I’m in the shower, my brain is a brick. But gazing at the clouds swinging from my rope hammock, my creativity is unleashed. My imagination leaps into the treetops and ideas drop down from the heavens — yes, along with the occasional bird dropping.
Let’s be real: Daydreaming is an essential part of a life well-lived, and we pay way too little attention to quality of our daydreams. We drink filtered water, eat organic food, sleep on expensive mattresses. Our daydreams deserve no less cultivation.
So, by all means chase down those golden adventures this summer. But if you’re not spending at least some time in a hammock, you’re living a stunted life. Yes, a sedentary summer without some adventure is a diminished one. But the opposite is also true. Where do you think ideas like unicycling across Argentina come from anyway?
Wallace isn’t alone in believing that a few minutes in the hammock can unleash your creative and intellectual spirit. One of my entrepreneur heroes, Richard Branson, has said many times that he gets his best thinking done in a hammock:
Let’s face it: I have the most beautiful office in the world — a hammock overlooking the British Virgin Islands! A fantastic place for reflection, it sets me up for the day and the surprises that are bound to happen. I come up with more ideas on that hammock than I ever would anywhere else.
(Richard, if you ever happen to stumble across this blog, drop me a line – I’d love to set you up with a Trek Light hammock so you can continue to come up with your best ideas no matter where you are.)
What does a hammock make you think of?
Ask most people on the street and they’ll respond with words like ‘vacation’, ‘lazy Sundays’ and ‘napping’. But, if you’re reading this blog and you’re a fan of Trek Light Gear’s hammocks then chances are the answers will also include things like rock climbing, rafting and world travel. Just look through the photos on our Flickr Gallery and you’ll see all the different ways people are incorporating hammocks into their productive lives.
Every one of our hammocks has the words ‘Life Is Better In A Hammock’ printed on it, but one of other long standing mottos has always been: ‘Where Adventure Meets Relaxation’.
A hammock is no longer a symbol of laziness and unproductiveness. It’s a companion on any adventure you can dream of and gives you the ability to reward yourself with the amazing comfort and relaxation that a hammock provides – especially when you’ve flown, climbed, biked and hiked many miles to get to that perfect hammock spot.
Here’s to many adventures and many hammock naps this summer and beyond…