The Sit Spot

Text by Olga Vähä-Piikkiö

On the second day of the camp we chose our sit spots. We returned to these spots daily at approximately the same time to observe the surroundings and to be in the moment, connected to the beings and things around. We saw the places change with weather and time and formed contact with the native flora and fauna.

“The sea is different every day (color, texture etc)”

“I have met a snake on my sit spot two times now. I hope we’ll get used to each other.”

“I’ve seen a hopping spider first time in my life at my sit spot. It made me laugh.”

“Seagull doesn’t need its wings at all while gliding past my sit spot.”

“My sit spot was occupied by a burdock plant 21st. The burs tried to hock on my clothes and spread the seeds.”

“The dry grass forms geometric shapes, like little gates on the ground. I wonder what they are for.”

Buttercups, photo by Olga Vähä-Piikkiö

The last time we returned to our spots was a little bittersweet. We said goodbye to all the beings we had started to get to know. We were primed to acknowledge that this would be the last time we would ever be with these beings before their death or our own. Some of them would be dead next year and some might remain long after we are gone. (Unless there will be a big construction on the island during my lifetime, in which case I might outlive them all! I felt a little victorious at this thought and then a little pissed at myself for making something this profound and beautiful a stupid competition in my head.)

However, I felt the strongest connection to my surroundings during the last sit spot. I thought of all the plants being born from the ground, and all the animals born from the ground in a more poetic sense. This led me to think that in a sense all of us humans are born from the ground as well. It’s a little hard to notice, since most of us in the “civilized world” are born and will die in hospitals, and the parts between most of us spend indoors seemingly disconnected from the natural world.

For me the sit spot epitomized a central part of the course. A feeling of connection necessary to care about the world and its beings, the lack of which leads to the kind of neglect we see and partake in so often. I think this feeling of connection must be there and must be strong enough for everyone to act on if we want to see positive change in this world.

The changing sea, photo series by Havu Pellikka

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