A Thin Place

A Thin Place

The Irish believe there are places where heaven and earth overlap. They call these “thin places.”

I believe Harris Neck is a thin place.

Harris Neck is an island off the coast of Georgia. Sparsely populated. Just under an hour to drive north to Savannah or south to Brunswick. This is the most remote part of the 100-mile long Georgia coast.

I came to Harris Neck wading through the wreckage of a 36-year marriage. I bought land and built a house. 

Divorce. Moving from a long-time home, buying land, and building a house are thought to be life changing experiences that should be handled slowly and with care. I did all of them, one on top of the other. Bang. Bang. Bang. And the only thing I felt was the knowledge I was doing the right thing.

I came from Atlanta where I had lived for sixty years. My entire professional life was spent in Atlanta. When I came to Harris Neck, I thought there would be a transition period, a time when I had one foot on Harris Neck and one foot still in Atlanta. But there was no transition. I never looked back. I was never home sick for Atlanta. I was at home from the minute I arrived on Harris Neck. My friendships with people in Atlanta ended. The fact I dropped those friendships so easily troubles me. But there it is.

I began to realize that not only is Harris neck a thin place, it is a healing place. I was hurting when I came here. But as the weeks went by, I found a contentment I had never known, a contentment I did not know existed.

My house is on a point that juts into the marsh. When I look out my windows, I see a wide and endless stretch of marsh. The marsh is my contact with the wildness that we need for salvation, a liminal place where we sense the great beyond, a holy place sensed in changing tides and changing winds and changing colors in the sky.

I am old and full of years and my race is nearly run. Which way I go after death I do not know. But I am in a thin place and I know what heaven is like.

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