Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thin places

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."
— Stanley Horowitz

As I look out my office window, most of the leaves I see are still green and shiny. The weekend’s rain has reinvigorated my yard, and everything looks vibrant and alive, but I know fall is coming (the weather last week notwithstanding!).

Tomorrow, I'm leaving for vacation in Banner Elk, NC, and this is supposed to be one of the best weeks for fall color—the golds and reds and oranges that mark the changing of the season. I’m already looking forward to the drive, and to seeing the dogwoods like shooting flames among the pines (and kudzu) along I-40. This weekend is the Woolly Worm Caterpillar Festival in the mountains, and so perhaps I’ll even come back with a prediction about the severity of this winter…apparently caterpillars are more sophisticated than groundhogs, and their stripes predict how cold it will be each week of winter. Who knew?

Fall brings more with it than cooler temperatures, falling leaves, and (finally) the chance to wear sweaters again. It’s a reminder to us that life has a cycle, a rhythm, that our moods and our habits and our lifestyles are more connected to creation—and through it, to God—than perhaps we realize. I think that’s why we are sometimes drawn to particular places, like the ocean for me and the mountains for Ben, where we feel closer to God. The Celtic mystics call them “thin places” where the boundary between us and heaven is narrower, where we feel that God somehow reaches through.

Hoping you’ll sense and enjoy the “thin places” in your life.

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