In Celtic tradition, it is said that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in “thin places” that distance is even smaller. Harvard Theologian Peter Gomes writes that “thin places” are locations where God’s presence is more accessible than elsewhere, places where the space between heaven and earth, holy and human, meet for a moment. Last night, after sauna-ing and eating popcorn in Pinecliff, Ty, Solveig, David, Emily and I laid outside on the rocks by our cabins and watched the Northern Lights until early in the morning – in that moment, falling asleep under a sky of stars and swirling light, the distance between earth and heaven felt small. Wilderness is a thin place, a place that always seems to say: “God is present here.”
It seems to me that everyone who visits WCB, whether it be for seven days or for seven years, shares a thread of understanding: what it is to be present, to be in awe, to be tiny in an incredible way. This is the place where my friendships have been the closest, my voice has been the strongest, and my arms have been the sorest. With soreness and a spirit of work comes a sense of purpose, a tangible knowledge of what it means to serve and to give willingly to the patchwork community of visitors who seek this place in search of peace, faith and rest.
Renewal is important to me because Wilderness has provided me with strength and inspiration, just as much six years ago as a wide-eyed, over-packed camper as it does today. The experiences I’ve had here are meaningful and grounding – from early mornings on the dock to late nights in the kitchen, I am thankful for all of the time I have spent on Seagull Lake. Wilderness is a “thin place,” a sanctuary of green trees and clear, deep waters, a place that has given so much to me, and will continue giving for as long as there are people seeking a place for sunsets and blueberries, for peace and adventure – which, I think, will probably be for a very long time.
– Kate Kinkade, WCB Summer Staff ’14, ’15