Sit Spot at Botany Bay, Vancouver Island, BC
For as long as I can remember I imagined being a painter, however for some reason I just could not give myself permission to create. I remember in seventh grade admiring a boy named Trevor. He was such a great artist and made drawing look so easy. Trevor was always doodling and creating interesting characters on scrap paper. My silly beliefs about not being good enough or measuring up to his natural talent stopped me in my tracks. I was too hard on myself and because of my perfectionist tendencies it was safer to not even try. Perhaps you can relate?
Instead, I went on to study Business and Accounting, even though in my heart I was more interested in Art. During this time, I never stopped daydreaming about being an artist. Fast forward, just before my 30th birthday I decided to take a leap of faith leaving my successful bookkeeping business, and I went back to school fulltime, enrolling at the Fine Arts program at Langara College in Vancouver, BC. I graduated two years later with honours but not long after, gave birth to my son. Motherhood and life responsibilities took over and I eventually stopped painting to focus on my new life. The longer I waited to pick up a paint brush, the harder it became, and I fell back into my old patterns of not feeling good enough, so why bother? Besides my son needed my attention and other household tasks took over. At least that is what I told my self. This went on for another twenty years until the year of my 51st birthday. It was Spring of 2020 and we were in the thick of Covid, stuck at home, and life was filled with uncertainties. I woke one morning, and had this overwhelming feeling come over me. I felt the urge to ask myself the question: "if you were to die tomorrow, would you have any regrets? Would you have done anything differently in your life?" A very strong answer dropped in. Yes, I would regret not painting. Not giving myself a chance at being an artist. I felt this tremendous energy flow threw me and I knew that I had to finally try.
Wasn’t it too late? I was in my fifties and not a youngster anymore. Besides it took years to build talent right? My mind wanted to tell me this, but I knew it was different this time. A few years earlier I had become a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the ANFT. I travelled to California with my then partner and together we participated in the two-week program followed by a six month practicum upon return home. Part of the requirements was to create a regular sit spot practice. It is very simple. Find a spot in nature that calls to you, sit, and do nothing. Well, you aren’t really doing nothing. As you sit, you are bathing all of your senses in nature. I loved (and still do) the sound of the ocean waves, watching the ducks and the swans in the harbour, smelling the fresh clean air, feeling the sun and the wind on my face and allowing peace and calm to wash over me as a result.
To be continued...
Sit Spot, Fulford Harbour Salt Spring Island, BC
Connecting with a tree, Mountain Road, Salt Spring Island, BC
Forest & Nature Therapy
with Kelly Hutchison (Kiss).
Come walk with me...
Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) on Salt Spring Island,
the Gulf Islands &
Vancouver Island, BC.
Kelly Hutchison (Kiss)
I would like to acknowledge the land where I am living ~the unceded territory and ancestors of the Coast Salish Peoples of Salt Spring Island and surrounding areas who continue to use and steward the lands and waters of the Salish Sea. These include the traditional land of the local Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group (Cowichan, Halalt, Lyackson, Cowichan Lake, Penelakut), and Saanich First Nations
(Tsartlip, Tseycum, and Tswaout).