In spiritual life, thin places refers to locations and experiences in which the curtain between the present and eternal realms seems very thin, transparent even. Birthing rooms are thin places, and dying rooms too ~ where unexpected of glimpses beauty or tragedy happen. In everyday moments of the most ordinary sort the veil can fall away striking me silent with the vastness of it all; vast beauty, vast sadness, vast injustice, vast pain, vast hope, vast loss, vast love, vast peace, vast hunger, vast joy, vast complacency, vastness itself.
For that split second, gone before we know we saw it, the absence of the veil reveals what we otherwise know only by faith ~ that God is below and above, surrounding and enveloping all that vastness. Such recall comes more easily in the beautiful than in the broken places.
Maybe it’s all these falling leaves and flowers dying back that has me so melancholy this morning. As their life force retreats for winter’s rest, mine also seeks respite and struggles to take my leave with confidence in the goodness of darkness, rest and quiet. Conceiving winter as a thin place is a thought less joyfully borne in me than, say, my garden in full bloom or an ancient Celtic holy site. Retreat and surrender are so easily confused with failure. Confusion gives way to frustration and frustration leaves me tired, terribly tired. “Rest,” says the Creator in the sight, sound and scent of Creation itself, “now is the time to rest.” The trees neither resist nor grieve the present season, but do again as they are told, dropping leaves as vigorously as they bloomed some months ago, with utter trust in winter’s goodness and the spring to come again. ~ peace and prayers, pastor annette