Once upon a mini course Brother Brandon graced us with some beautiful words and some interesting things to think about. Particularly striking was his description of “thin places.” He explained that these could be places or people, landscapes or moments where the veil between Heaven and Earth is thin, where the spiritual realm touches the mortal, where the presence of God can be felt resonating from the ground to the air to the infinite sky and all things are connected. In these places the past and the future are irrelevant, the to-do lists are nonexistent, and the opinions of others are, to a great extent, powerless. There is simply peace. And understanding. And the knowledge that right here in this place or at this moment or with these people is exactly the right place to be. It’s an affirmation that you, me, we, belong. Here. Now.
A lot of us Stews experience these thin places within the program. Maybe some of us felt it at the paddle before school started when the sun was warm but the water was cool and we learned how to move as a unit. Or maybe at the campfire when the air was crisp but the fire was glowing and music filled the spaces between the stars. Maybe even just at mini course every Friday when we reunite with the people that share our common passion and adventurous spirit. I think we all recognize these “thin places” or “thin moments.” We run into them unexpectedly and we let them gently remind us to breathe. We let them lull us into awareness; nudge us into the world with a new perspective.
I think a big part of our goal as Stews is to make these places and moments more accessible to the entirety of the community. We want people on the river and at the parks and together in hope that they can feel it too—that they can feel connected and present and alive. We want them to see the beauty of nature and humanity and the remarkable way they are one. That incredible duality is why we’re all here. It’s what makes us love being stewards.
Keep the river love flowin’, y’all,