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Summertime and the Living is Easy

For a teacher, the summer is a time to find the angle of repose. To lay back, gaze at the summer blue and perhaps reflect on the past school year, or not. To travel, or not. But to recharge our batteries and be refreshed for the new year when 29 new faces that will be looking my way in August.

But right now I am content to lay back, the creek flowing underneath, and try to find coolness in the 103 degree afternoons of the foothills. I open my sketchbook and start sketching my feet, the two twin foundations that keeps me upright, even when I’m downright.

This creek runs parallel to my mother’s house in California’s Gold Country, along side the stone wall that was built by Chinese immigrants in the 1850s. And there is no better way to find the angle of repose than some extreme hammocking.

Hammocking, now who knew that laying down on a piece of stretched fabric was now a verb? When I bought my ENO Doublenest Hammock at REI the cashier asked, “Hammocking huh?” Now was this a trick question ? In the age of youtube stars and fail videos, almost anything can become an extreme sport, even the relaxing and passive inaction of resting in a hammock.

A wild turkey contemplating the pros and cons of extreme hammocking.

I suppose I could hang my hammock twenty feet up. But I wanted to keep out of the running for the Darwin Awards (think natural selection) and use it for its less extreme advantages: relaxing.

Finding repose on a beach on the Middle Fork of the American River near French Meadows Reservoir.