When I first heard the concept of “thin places,” I immediately thought of mountaintops in Switzerland and a valley hidden away in a forest near my childhood home, where I used to sneak away to when I was about 13. Even then I knew the feelings of the presence of God.
Thin places is a Celtic Christian term for “those rare locales where distance between heaven and earth collide,” according to Eric Wienter in Man Seeks God. These are places where the walls are weak and another dimension seems nearer than usual.
Well regarded thin places include Gastenbury in England, the sight of Leonardo di Vinci’s Last Supper in Italy, Parfrey’s Glen in Baraboo, Wisconsin and closer to home Sedona, Arizona. It is in these places you have a feeling that God is near and Mother Earth wraps her arms around you like a warm woolen sweater in the Fall.
It is said by the non-religious that what you are feeling in these places is emotional residue such as the way we can’t help thinking of rooms previously occupied by sad people as having a sad “vibe.” In The Power of Place,” science writer Winifred Gallagher even suggests that electromagnetic fields generated by certain kinds of rocks might make for the “strange” feelings. (Source: The Guardian article by Oliver Burkman, March 2014)
What about you? What are your thoughts on thin places? Have you experienced a thin place when facing life challenges? Tell me where it is so I might enjoy it too and I’ll tell everyone on next month’s blog.