Random rabbit

A random rabbit found in a shop doorway on Midsummer's Eve

A random rabbit perched on a shop’s door knob on Midsummer’s Eve

It is hard to walk anywhere in the Helsinki area and not find a random object propped up in a way that it’s owner will find it. Each of these items inspires its own story and I often wonder how it got there and whether it will be found by whomever lost it.

Throughout the winter months, these items mostly consist of random mittens and gloves positioned on tree branches and other pointy objects along the various pathways for easy spotting. In summer, objects tend to be a bit more unusual—pacifiers, eye glasses and sun glasses, umbrellas, etc—and harder to spot. But, not this wonderfully bright and cheerful guy.

Yesterday, as we made our way through an eerily deserted city centre, we spied this random rabbit. Propped up on the door handle of one of the many closed-up and empty stores, he looked rather cheerful and oddly protective. In some ways, it was as if he completely belonged there.

Perched in the doorway, I imagined him greeting passersby as he watched what little foot traffic there was, reminding everyone that, despite the dark clouds and brisk temps, it was indeed Midsummer’s Eve. ‘Yes, yes. We are closed until Monday. But, have a lovely holiday weekend! It’s all downhill from here, folks!’

Who knows if he belongs to someone attached to the store. Most likely, some child chucked him from their stroller and will be gutted to have lost his/her beloved bunnie. Perhaps, later that evening, the frazzled parent of the distraught child retraced their steps and delightfully found him. Child will be happy and consoled and parents will be relieved. I hope this was the case, for the sake of both the parent and the child, as well as for the bunnie.

If not, here’s hoping that this lovely creature remained protected in his little doorway, and eventually finds his way back to his family and home. Should he be adopted by another family, may they all be even more delighted than those who lost him.

I’d love it even more if next time I’m in that neighbourhood, he’s still sat there, silently, cheerfully and brightly watching the world pass him by. Wouldn’t that be something?


Lost and potentially found, part 2

Another day, another lost (and found) mitten

Another day, another lost (and found) mitten

On Sunday evening, I spied the above mitten draped on a branch close to one of the bicycle trails traversing through our neighbourhood. The next morning, it was still there and looking lovelier than ever in the bright yet dappled sunlight, as if it were expectantly awaiting the hand to which it belongs.

Every time I stumble across one of these lost and found although not-yet-reunited items, it gives me hope for humanity. They brighten my day and remind of how even the simplest random acts of kindness and charity can mean the world to another individual. Having lost things myself at one time or another, I understand the joy and relief that accompanies that moment of realisation when finding something I thought was gone forever.

It’d be easy for whoever discovered this mitten to have just left it where it lay. It would have been just as easy to have picked it up and thrown it away. Yet, they didn’t. That someone took the time to pick it up and hang it in a place where it could be easily spotted.

So simple. So easy. And, yet, so selfless. And, dare I say, hopeful. Hopeful that its rightful owner would travel that same route again and discover what they had misplaced, dropped and possibly considered long gone.

A few lines from Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene have been running through my mind since seeing this particular mitten, words which are cued whenever I think of items lost and searched for:

For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide unto an other brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

I’d love to hang out near one of these objects sought to witness the instant when it is found once again.

Lost, but will be found…? (Day 68: Proekt 365)

Day 68: Proekt 365 Lost, and to be found?

Day 68: Proekt 365
Lost, and to be found?

Evidently, Helsinki is the most honest city on the planet. There are signs of this simple truth all around if you just know what to look for.

Today, I spied this lovely little mitten which someone had placed very visibly along one of the paths near our flat. Hopefully, its owner will find it soon enough. It’s lovely and bright in an otherwise colourless landscape and far too beautiful to be without its mate.

Yesterday, I found one of my own gloves which I’d dropped a little closer to home. As we left yesterday afternoon to run a few errands, I notice one of my gloves on the windowsill in our stairwell. Honestly, I didn’t even know I’d lost it! (Thanks to the person who found it!)

You’d be amazed at the items you spot along paths and routes all over the place. We’ve seen reading glasses, scarves, pacifiers, gloves and mittens (obviously) along with a number of different types and styles of hats. Sometimes, they remain there for ages. Others disappear, hopefully after finding their way home.

The general rule seems to be to place the item so that it is roughly at eye level. This can be a challenge given the range of heights for most folks in Helsinki. But, you want to situate the item such that it is obviously waiting to be found. Trees are the most common place lost things are hung so that they may be discovered. Bus stops and benches are also likely spots for the unclaimed and forgotten stuff unintentionally left behind.

It’s nice seeing these little reminders of compassion amongst fellow residents. And, hopefully, all those items which were lost will be found if not by their owners then at least by someone who will appreciate them.