One word was left for us.
They intended for us to discover it. Before packing their suitcases and leaving for home, they came to the backyard of their home-away-from-home to fashion a single word with fist-sized stones: FRINGE.
I found the word when I stepped into the quiet. I came out to the deck of our Colorado rental home to look at snow-dappled mountains and breathe thin, Rocky Mountain air.
On the ground, below my lookout, I found the lone word.
It was left on purpose, but for what purpose?
I puzzled over the word all week long, and what it might have meant to those who set it in stone before our family came.
By week’s end, my nephews had rearranged the stones to spell our family’s last name: DUKES. It would become our one-word mystery for the next set of vacationers here.
I still don’t know what FRINGE meant to the ones who spelled it out before I arrived. But I know what it meant to me by the time I left.
For I found the FRINGE in a “thin place.”
The Celtic people of ancient Ireland had a word for places like these — where Heaven seems nearer. They called them “thin places.”
Where the veil between this world
and the next One
where lines blur between
Until you can’t tell the difference between the two.
Where two worlds crash,
no sound is heard.
I found a thin place on top of the mountain with my oldest daughter last week. I found a port where God seemed closer and Heaven seemed nearer, and this world invisibly touched the next. It was a place where the air was thin, and the Spirit was thick. Where aspen and pine brushed the entrance to Home.
“Where is the ending place?” Lydia asked me, curled up on a rock where we rested and looked at how far we’d come. “It seems like I can see forever.”
“That’s because you can,” I told her. “God set ‘Forever’ in your heart. And you can see it with Soul-Eyes.”
I wrapped an arm around her, and in the touching of mother and daughter, this thin place shrunk even thinner.
We were on the FRINGE — two souls sitting on the edge of eternity.
And that’s when a backyard word, set in stone, found the Word, set in stone. Right there on the FRINGE of a thin place …
Photos: A message in the yard.
A view Heavenward.
My “thin place,” out on the fringe.
Tell me, friend, have you experienced a thin place?