Just when I think I am making stuff up in my head about there being “thin” places, I fall into one again. Frankly, much of this talk about personal energy fields can seem kinda eye-rolling. Except when it happens to me. Hah! Then it seems there might be something to it. Our minds cannot explain all of the unexplainable but we try to anyway. And I do believe that there is more than what water and cells and memory dictate.
Some of what fills a physical space is the life we live and lived in that space. We hold our memories in our bodies, so it makes sense that feelings and memories could be reengaged in us. But also … is there something in the water? What came first: the happy, creative energy and artist communities that can surround these spaces or – the oxygen and soil and the scent in the air? Is there a dance of some sort that opens up spaces for spiritual life and maybe even accesses a deeper world?
I am in Black Mountain, NC, outside of Asheville, and it is definitely here, that “thin whatever”. For me. And for many others. I have birthed so many songs out of these hills. Seattle is like this too. And the Colorado Plateau. All places on the “woo woo channel”. But is it in the landscape or just conjured up in my mind? Why isn’t it in Louisville?
People talk about prayer like this. And I have sensed it in cathedrals and in the Selkirk mountains in Washington state. All religions and those with various spiritual proclivities identify these places. A pilgrimage to a place a beloved saint is said to have died. A hajj to Mecca. Jerusalem. Ireland. Catholic traditions have many iterations of this such usually marked by a miracle of some sort.
Mystery. We want to write it off with scientific explanations. But every discipline has holes. Just like mystery. Many holes. We can explain the existence of thin places however we want to and it will be incomplete. But I, for one, am grateful just to be there for it.