“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James is responsible for the above quote and I agree with him. There is something magical about a summer afternoon. Dogs laze in the heat of the day, bees collect pollen, an errant breeze ruffles the leaves in the trees. Where are you in those thoughts? I’m often in a hammock, suspended in that state between wakefulness and snoozing. It doesn’t matter to me that I’ve never owned a hammock. It’s a state of mind.
There is no doubt that I’m a champion napper. I have been since childhood. Catnaps have long been a part of my life. And summer afternoons are made for them. For many years I visited Cape Cod during the summer. My routine was simple. Armed with my sand chair, I hit the beach at 9 am with newspaper and book. Until noon I alternated between swimming, reading, people watching, collecting shells. Then as the beach grew crowded I gathered my stuff and headed back to my little cabin. After a turkey sandwich and a cold drink, nap time ensued. I would drift off surrounded by the sounds of the waves, the gulls and the other beach goers, covered by an extra large beach towel. Such relaxation. I grow drowsy thinking of it. Après nap, showered and dressed, I’d sit outside and read before heading off for a tasty seafood dinner followed by a long beach walk.
In a few weeks I will make a trek to a lake in Maine. Afternoon naps may take a few different forms: in a float out on the lake (liberal use of sunscreen recommended); on the cot on the front porch of the cabin; or in the case of said cot being occupied, on the bed with the breeze gently blowing the curtains. You can bet I will take advantage of at least two of those methods.
Take a day or two to enjoy a summer afternoon. Just sit and listen. Watch. Nap. Enjoy the moment. Imagine a hammock, swaying slightly, the sound of water trickling nearby…