Since junior high school (Highland Junior High) I’ve been in love with Scotland. My 7th grade year was when I started hearing tales of Loch Ness and Nessie, kelpies, and selkies. My high school years were spent at Ben Lomond High School where our band wore kilts and our pep club learned to do the Highland Fling (no kiddin’! I still remember some of!.😀 ). I was also in my very first musical there, “Brigadoon,” by Lerner and Loewe, about the Scottish village that only returns once every 100 years.
By 1964 I was madly in love with The Beatles and anything British. In my high school years I stumbled across Mary Stewart’s Arthurian Saga beginning with “The Crystal Cave,” and to date have read five series about King Arthur. (Stephen Lawhead’s “Pendragon Cycle” is my favorite.) I also developed a fascination for Robin Hood. Lawhead’s “King Raven Trilogy” does a bit of an about face and places Hood’s birthplace as Wales.
I fell in love with Ireland (and Sean Connery) when I saw Disney’s “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” and “The Fighting Prince of Donegal.”
My point is, I have always been drawn to the British Isles. And a year from this coming Saturday (Lord willin’) we’ll be on a ship cruising around those isles. It’s not quite close enough for me to get REALLY excited yet, but this morning I was reading about sacred places in the isles. Some sacred places seem filled with great power and enchantment. Some folks claim to feel a connection to a deeper wisdom and experience break-throughs into alternate realities. These places are called “thin places.”
According to Edward C. Sellner in Wisdom of the Celtic Saints,
The early Celts believed in “thin places”: geographical locations scattered throughout Ireland and the British Isles where a person experiences only a very thin divide between past, present, and future times; places where a person is somehow able, possibly only for a moment, to encounter a more ancient reality within present time; or places where perhaps only in a glance we are somehow transported into the future. Some of the stories here that associate the Saints with intuitive and psychic powers attest to these “thin places.”
Reading about “thin places” got my mind all wound up this morning and I’ve been sitting here trying to decide where I would go if I happened to bump into one knowing I could visit somewhere in history and then return safely. Not necessarily to the British Isles. Lordy! There are so many other places to choose from! But I finally narrowed it down to a Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A would be to visit Atlantis, IF it actually existed. I would be utterly fascinated to see how far advanced this civilization really was.
But on the off chance there really WAS no such place, I think I’d like to be around somewhere close — but not TOO close when the volcano Krakatoa erupted in August of 1983. (Krakatoa Erupts) That eruption was heard around the world. (This is an actual picture, btw.) And the dust in the air filtered out enough sun and heat that the temperatures fell globally for a couple of years. Actually I wouldn’t even mind seeing Krakatoa Katy (as the sailors called her) even now as there is a new volcano growing there called Anak Krakatoa which means Son of Krakatoa. I find myself wondering if it will ever get as big as its mama!
So that’s where my mind has been off to this morning. How about you? If you happened upon a thin place somewhere in your travels, where would you like to go and why? I’d LOVE to hear about it!. 😀