Ever since Jacob dreamed about the ladder upon which angels ascended and descended between earth and heaven, people have been aware that some spots seem to be "thin places." Places where the separation between earth and heaven is as thin as gossamer, where it's possible to imagine God's glory and God's reach and God's abiding presence and love to shine through all barriers. Places where we can feel that God and/or God's messengers are very, very near.
For me, places where I can see the vastness of both water and sky are such thin places. There is so much activity going on in them, even if I can't see it with my eyes. I know that life is teeming in the water and in the sky and on the earth, all sorts of creatures going about their business, and I am in the midst of it all, trying to be aware of it all and maybe trying to be in synch with it all, too.
The "thin place" pictured here is also a resting place for migratory birds. As you probably know, birds that fly great distances have to find safe places to rest between the long legs of their journeys. They need shelter and sustenance and a sense of safety. Great numbers of birds - birds equally at home on the water and in the sky - rest in this area during the winter, reasonably undisturbed.
We need such places of rest in our journeys as well. Places that give us a sense of peace, and maybe elicit awe and wonder. For me, water (and especially water and sky) views give some kind of visual peace that provides respite even when I'm driving along the highway and can look out into a marsh or river or canal or pond and get that sense of peace. We need that sense of sustenance and safety, too, so that we can be present not only to God in our resting but to God in our doing. And so that we might have a sense that while the world is vast and confusing and our place in it might be small, we are beloved and have a place in the world that belongs to us, uniquely. That we are part of creation and have a part to play with the gifts we have been given to use for the good of the world.
When I'm in the kind of place that gives me peace, I actually feel more capable of taking on the arduous tasks of life. Because I feel that I am not alone but supported by God and God's angels who move back and forth between and among us all the time.
Where are the thin places you love?