Apologies for an overdue post, but as you may know, I am enrolled Stanford’s high school summer college program this summer. One of the classes I am taking is English Fiction Writing and the first assignment was an object description paper. We were to describe any object of our choice, and I chose the hammock that swings in the Cardenal courtyard.
The hammock that swings in the Cardenal courtyard calls to me. The sheet of pastel oranges and reds looks flimsy from afar, but is actually intricately woven and supports the weight of four men. Nudged by a gentle breeze, the carriage sways from side to side. Tightly-fastened ropes hold the apparatus intact, and when plucked, hum as a bass does. They attach the firm, layered cloth to thin wooden planks, which are then chained to strong, black, steel beams that dig into the grass and dirt.
The hammock that swings in the Cardenal courtyard seems to represent tranquility. Its steady rhythm promises an alleviating session. Its constant movement searches for an equilibrium that has yet to be reached. Yet, the hammock stays and sways, its stripes of reddish hues flashing in the sunlight. But when tipped a bit too far, even in the slightest, it gives, flipping over entirely, and emptying its contents onto the grassy bed over which it hangs.
A small tear on the frontal right hand side is a result of excessive weight and mishandling. But despite its flaw that is to some a sign of instability, the hammock that swings in the Cardenal courtyard remains a popular site for tired students seeking relief, peace, or simply a view. At dawn, the hammock is a platform to watch the sunrise. In the afternoon, under the blazing sun, it functions as a warming mattress, a tanning area even. As the day closes and the sun goes back to bed, frequenters return to see the sunset and when night penetrates, the hammock invites sleepy individuals to gaze up at twinkling stars amidst a quiet sky of black.