Thin and Happy…It’s Not What You Think

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Jeff in one of his thin places, the Swiss Alps.

In all the places I’ve found myself in moments of pure happiness and balance, “thin” is not a word I have ever used to label such a place in time and space. Peaceful, inspiring, or serene come to mind when I picture my spaces of refuge or when I reflect on those places that have had a profound effect on the way I see the world. But thin?

We’ve all been “there”. That place where nothing else matters. Where everything seems perfectly in balance. Where you suddenly feel so insignificant that you’re pressed to ask those questions that ultimately have no clear answers without help from the divine. Eric Weiner, author of Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer, an article recently published in the New York Times, describes these places that move us as thin places. I’ve often referred to such a place as my “happy place”, a place where I can be alone and simply be. I can think of a list of these places in a matter of seconds, but Weiner takes the idea to another level, quite literally. A thin place is not necessarily your favorite coffee shop (although it can be) or that feeling I get when I walk into Target (long sigh). No, a thin place is where heaven and Earth seemingly come closer together. A thin place rocks you to your inner core and changes you in some way. When you’re in a thin place, you may lose yourself there, or find your real self. Either way, does this happen in a Target? Maybe. Am I changed by the experience? Doubtful, unless I find an amazing bargain and strut to my car feeling like a champion.

No, the truth is I have come across many places, near and far, that I can now call a thin place. These places move me in a way that no other can, or have as the case may be. Some of my thin places are in my neighborhood, in my city. Some I will probably never see again. Regardless of how often I frequent them, my thin places have deeply affected me and have nudged me ever closer to finding my true self.

Where have you found your thin places?

Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer

Inspired by Re, the Egyptian Sun god. Traveling to Egypt and seeing the pyramids for the first time was a moment of absolute wonder in my life. I’ll probably never visit this thin place again.

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