Years ago, in a previous chapter of our lives, my husband and I traveled to Belize. We floated underground river caves, dived along green walls rich with coral deep under the ocean, slept in a shack on a tiny island. We returned, deliciously relaxed, with a rainbow striped hammock, a maxed out credit card, and a tiny new life growing in my belly. It was a dramatic end to the first chapter of our married life.
The hammock was hung on the deck of third-floor apartment, consuming all the outdoor space we could boast. I rocked there, sipping virgin pina coladas, dreaming of our vacation, and watched my tummy grow. Months later, my new baby and I swayed together.
Eventually I went back to work. Got pregnant again. Prepared to move to Oregon and start yet another chapter of family life. We pulled the hammock out of retirement to discover the red section had faded to orange and been eaten through by a very industrious mouse that had moved into the balcony.
This summer, I spent several days sitting on the back patio, weaving a new stripe into our old, loved hammock. Over under, over under, breathing and weaving, I attaching the yellow and blue with a vibrant red. I wondered who made the hammock in the first place, I remembered the rejuvenating vacation and the whirlwind of change that ensued.
We have come full circle, and the life we dreamed of under palm trees in Belize, in California, is a reality. We swing under the juniper, the sun and the stars, on our own tiny island of home.