Monday, February 6, 2017

Thin Places



Richard and I walked at the Monastery this weekend  The daffodils were in bloom, as were the pink flowers of the tulip trees. When we walked to the lake there, we saw a great heron flying.  With its large wings outstretched over the water, gliding gracefully and ever so quietly, it was a breathtaking sight.  



Inside the church, the light was streaming through the purple and blue stained glass.  You are asked to maintain silence. Since the walls are built of solid concrete, the sound is hard to describe.  It is a quiet that is most unusual....and very welcome to a weary visitor.

Look! This was the sunrise that greeted us as we stepped outside our front door this morning!  "Thin places", that is how the Celts described the places where the distance between heaven and earth are so close that they almost touch.   Mairead from Irish American Mom had a fascinating post about thin places and you may find her post just here.

How is your February going?  What are your "thin places"?








51 comments:

  1. I have two 'thin places'. One is the farm where I was born and raised...on the mountaintop where the sky seems to touch the earth and I can look down into the valley below, shrouded in fog, and know that I am close to Heaven. The second is by the ocean where I can look out and see the eternity of water meeting earth...with no end in sight.

    So sorry about the Falcons. Glad you bet on the last game and not the Super Bowl one. lol xo Diana

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    1. Mountain and ocean, those sound like good places to me.

      Oh yes, my dear, let's just not discuss that last football game! Can you believe it, I have never bet on a football game before, only the one that gave me lovely hearts, Belgian chocolates and your great signed book! xx

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  2. What gorgeous photos! I can't quite think of any particular 'thin places.' We were rooting for the Falcons too. Sigh...

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    1. You live in Hawaii, Kay, your thin places must be around every corner!
      Thanks for cheering for the Falcons. There's always next year!

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  3. In my immediate neighbourhood, there aren't really many (or any) "thin places". But I do have a few, such as my favourite grassy path near my parents' allotment, or Fountains Abbey near Ripon.
    Your pictures are, as always, great! I love how you describe the silence inside the church. Many people do not even realise how much noise contributes to them feeling stressed out and tired, and instead of creating islands of silence in their daily lives, they have the radio or TV blaring at all times, at home, at work, in the car.

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    1. Fountains Abbey, yes! Remember I told you that the BBC travel section listed it as one of the best walks? Lovely.
      And the allotment of your parents, I love it when you go there and show us photos!
      The quiet inside the church at the Monastery is amazing. Once, I took C. there with a friend when they were quite small, and we walked into the church he looked startled. After we left, he said that he had never heard "quiet" like that before. I knew just what he meant.

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  4. What beautiful stained glass! Almost a representation of that beautiful sky you found.

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    1. Yes, I also thought the colors of the sunrise on Monday echoed those from the church. Thank you for noticing it and appreciating it too! x

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  5. I've never heard that term, "thin places" but I like it and I have a feeling I'll be thinking of it often : )
    The stained glass windows mimic the colors in that beautiful sky.
    I can't believe Spring is already appearing there!

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    1. I do wonder if we will even have a winter this year. Our trees will be budding soon.

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  6. That's a lovely way to put that - thin places. When my late mother developed dementia, I used to take Highway 212 home to Atlanta sometimes and pull in the monastery parking lot to sit and think. (They lived at the very end of 212 in Baldwin County.)

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    1. If you can, try to visit the Monastery during the month of February. The bridge on HWY 212, which is just past the Monastery, has been closed for repair for months. Therefore, there is very little noise from the usually busy highway. It will re open after February, so try to get there if you can!

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  7. All your photo's are so lovely, Kay. Any of them is a good place to stay and meditate on God's creation and love!

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    1. A good place to mediate on God's creation and love, that is a perfect way to say it. xx

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  8. i'd never heard that term before 'Thin Places' but so adept! Truly places where heaven and are are close!

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    1. I hope you were able to look at the link I gave you to Irish American Mom, she wrote the best post about "thin places"! When I read a post that I truly love, I want everyone to read it too!

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  9. Have you ever read "The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit" by Patricia Monaghan? She was an American celtic mystical type and this book is all about a trip to Ireland she took. It's beautifully written and full of spiritual insight. I read it about 10 years ago when I was on a silent retreat at a catholic retreat centre. That book was a "thin place" for me.

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    1. Thanks, Debra. I just looked it up and I think I would very much like to read this book. I can see how it could be a "thin place" for you.

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  10. Not too many "thin places" in my life, it's too crowded and noisy. A retreat for a few days to a monastery that asks for silence would be beautiful!

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    1. I notice that there are more and more people in the church that are staying at the Monastery for retreats, looks like lots are looking for peace!

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  11. What a very fascinating post. I ended up following links from the Irish American Mom on and on. I love the idea of thin places. I believe I have a few, but I have a feeling that if we really are present in the moment there would be more. The noise and busyness of our minds and lives is too distracting. But some places, the thin places, perhaps, can make us step outside of this and pay attention and be aware. It is a beautiful idea.

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    1. So happy that you took the time to look at Irish American Mom! As you say, difficult sometime to live in the moment...I remember once when we had an unusual snow here in Georgia and building a snowman with my son...we worked together for some time and the sun sparkling on the snow with my joyful son beside me...that was living in the moment and was a thin place for me. Thanks for making me think of that!

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  12. Love the beautiful pictures Kay. I guess my place is sitting on the porch when there's no traffic noises or farm noises, and no wind. It's rare...but I have had a few days like this and I love it so much. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. Ah, resting on the porch, that sounds lovely.
      Blessings on you, my friend! xx

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  13. What a peaceful post. It can be wonderful to go into a place with such silence as the church, and with the light from the glass too I can imagine how special it was.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny Woolf! And you might recognize that last photo, it is a view that Lewis Carroll loved also, the view from Beachy Head! (The building he would not have known, of course, but the view would have been the same.)

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  14. I feel soothed after reading this. I am so calm and relaxed.

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    1. Oh, I am glad that it brought you peace.
      That is a very good thing. x

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  15. Good Evening Kay, What a lovely post. I would say, my personal thin space is sitting on an empty beach, to listen only to the sound of the sea which in turn rests the mind.
    I have lived in Cyprus which is in the Mediterranean Sea and listened to the gentle lapping of the water, I have lived on the South coast of England, where the sea is perhaps not as gentle, but just as lovely and finally here in the North East of England where the North Sea can be very wild. It doesn't matter which beach I sit on, the feeling is the same. The sea makes my busy mind slow down and it calms my soul.
    Best Wishes
    Daphne

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    1. Lovely comment, thanks very much for sharing it!
      My in-laws live in Eastbourne, so I also love the sound of the sea. Any body of water seems to be calming to me, the lakes here in Georgia provide that peacefulness for me.
      Thanks again for your comment, I love the way you write!

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  16. I love the term "thin spaces". I have been to a few in my life and you never forget them and can't wait to return to them. Love all your pics of those beautiful places that I'm sure have a spot in your heart!

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    1. Yes, YAYA, you seem to know me and how I think! (BE afraid, be VERY afraid! HA!)

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  17. Wow! Fabulous photos!

    Here..a "thin place" is the view to the valley below across to the mountains on the western horizon.

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    1. Thank you, Lee.
      Your view sounds lovely and very much like a thin place.

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  18. Love the cathedral glass, quite beautiful. I had to think about this for a minute, but I think for me the thin spaces are when I get out into the country, clear blue skies, and close to the mountains where I grew up. Always make my heart burst with happy!

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    1. You know, Richard and I love our birds very much...we have a tiny patio where they come down and drink water and eat seeds. Watching the cardinals, male and female, qualify as a "thin place" for me!

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  19. I haven't heard of thin places but would probably agree with Daphne about anywhere near the sea. After the initial exhilaration and pure joy at first sight comes peace. x

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    1. I remember seeing the ocean for the first time when I was seven years old. I have never forgotten the thrill and astonishment of that memory. x

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  20. You seem to be about a full month ahead to us there with the spring flowers as it's just snowdrop time here. Nice to see life returning to the land once more.

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    1. I bet you will be seeing the first crocus soon, am I right? Love the flowers in England, the English gardens are just amazing.

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  21. My February could be going better, but at least I'm alive. So there's always that. That monastery sounds fascinating. You can get some pretty interesting sounds from a church, so I imagine it's even more intense at a monastery.

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    1. Staying alive, yes indeed, we could sing like the Bee Gees! Hang in there, Spring is just around the corner!

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  22. Beautiful pictures Kay and has such a peaceful feel, I think we know when we're in a thin place, where we feel closer to the heavens and God.
    I am catching up with my favorite blogs, much has changed in my life.

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    1. Thanks, Jenny, for your comment here, I know you are very busy!
      Funny thing, I was going to complain about February and tell my blogging friends about some stresses in my life but somehow, this post became an appreciation somehow, a thank you. Funny how that happens, isn't it?

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    1. Hey John!
      Look at my comment to Jenny above! So strange that sometimes you start to write something and it just...wants to go in a different direction!

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  24. Replies
    1. Thanks! Richard took all the photos, except the one of the daffodils, I took that one!

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    2. Hee, hee...Richard took better ones of the daffs, but that will be our little secret! (I just used the first one that caught my eye and later noticed that the ones that Richard took were much nicer!)

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  25. Hi Kay - I love your thin place, and your photos are spectacular. The light and shadows in the photos helps communicate why you find the monastery to be your "thin place." Thanks so much for sharing my post with your readers. I really appreciate it.

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