The places where the distance between heaven and earth collapses: A story about a purple beach hut

The lady, Stella, invited us to take a tour around her little beach hut. Delighted to have the opportunity to see inside the hut, with its flaking pale purple exterior, we accepted. We walked up the concrete steps and over the threshold, strings of shells dangling in the doorway.

The tour wasn’t long, the hut being tiny and all. A table, a kettle, a few knick knacks here and there. It was a hot day in Folkestone, but it felt blissfully cool inside the little concrete structure.

Later, sitting outside on her deck chair looking out to sea whilst we sat facing her on the concrete wall, she told us that this was a thin place to her.

I’d never heard of a "thin place" before and she explained (although I can’t now remember her words) it was a place one felt a little closer to God, to the Divine, to something otherworldly. 

Here, looking out towards the sea, was a thin place for Stella. It’s not hard for me to understand why. The ocean does that to a person. So vast. So powerful. So beautiful. 

Despite the glorious sunshine in Folkestone, when we returned to London that evening it was the same wet rain that had been falling when we left St. Pancras early that morning for our teddy bears’ picnic.

Back in my flat that evening, I took a chair out to my balcony and sat cross legged upon it wrapped in a warm, fleecy grey blanket. Keijiro had given me the blanket when I left California and wrapping myself up in it makes me feel somehow a little closer to him. 

Anyway, listening to the rain drops hit the horse chestnut tree and breathing in that smell of the rain, I felt I was in a thin place too.

I’ve been thinking about thin places since that trip. I even googled it and found there’s actually quite a lot of information out there. I discovered it’s a Celtic Christian term for the rare places where "the distance between heaven and earth collapses." I thought that was quite beautiful. 

I think we’ve all been in those places, no? Experienced that feeling.

The places you truly understand both your significance and how utterly small you are.

The places that reconnect you to all that truly matters, all that you’re capable of and who you are without the stories layered up over the course of your life.

The places that set you free. The places in which you understand that all is possible. The places in which you feel truly limitless. 

The places in which problems diminish and are replaced with a knowing that all is ok.

I thought my leaving London was just about following my heart, which has been calling for mountains and forest and ocean. But now I see the reason my heart has been longing for those things is because it knows they are my thin places and it knows how much I need to be in them. To plug in, to reconnect, to tune back into a bigger purpose.

Today I only wanted to share this little story about thin places with you and perhaps encourage you to think about where your thin places are and whether you might benefit from spending a little more time there?

Love and courage,

Leah