Have you heard of a Sit Spot? Or a Magic Spot? A place you go to in nature, alone, to just be and take in all that’s around you. You sit still and quiet and become invisible, a part of the landscape and all of a sudden the magic of the natural world unfolds around you. A place you go to again and again. There’s been so much written about meditation and the benefits of mindfulness and this is a way to get all those same benefits while opening the door to deep connections with the wild around you.
A Sit Spot can become like an anchor in your life — a place to settle down, cultivate present-moment awareness and a quieter mind, and to observe the flow of reality occurring around you. It’s also a place where you can notice what the animals are up to. And they can get to know you. By visiting your Sit Spot, you may begin to discover which birds tend to sing first at sunrise, the circuit a mother raccoon follows each morning with her little ones, where the deer like to bed down, and where a robin sits fluffed over sky-blue eggs. Over time, you can notice the changes that occur with the inhabitants of your spot, how they interact, what their rhythms and routines are, and where new events come into play.
I haven’t yet introduced the concept of a Magic Spot to my girls but I’m planning on it. Today, while the girls were at Forest School Heidi, was having a hard time participating and staying together with her group (Polliwogs) . I went along with her, taking photos and trailing just behind the group when she stopped suddenly, struck by the pond to the right of the path, refusing to budge. She sat down without a word and just watched the water. I was smiling to myself about the fact that she had discovered this on her own when my adult brain kicked in and urged her to get up and join her class. Looking back I wish I had just sat with her. I wish I had slowed down, let go of the need to get to where the rest were going and just enjoyed being present with her. There really was no need to rush.
The basics of a Sit Spot:
- A place in nature you can go to regularly (daily if possible)
- A place you can go to in all weather, and at different times of day, all seasons.
- A place you can go to and be alone (not be disturbed by strangers)
- A safe place (no dead branches above you, no risk of flash floods etc)
- A place you can disappear into the landscape.
- A place to observe with all your senses.
- A place that over time becomes a part of you.
Did you have a magic spot as a child?