Thin places, where the distance between heaven and earth collapses…
Monday morning I woke up, surrounded by sleeping children who had decided to camp out in our bedroom while Drew was away. No one was stirring yet and the house was still dark and completely quiet except for the whirring of the bedroom fan.
I reached over and picked up my phone, curious if Drew’s red-eye flight from San Fransisco to Chicago had made it in yet.
There were several messages from him on the screen.
Crazy turbulence and lightning.
Might have been struck by lightning.
Diverted to Milwaukee.
Did get struck!
On the ground now.
The last text
It had me briefly thinking what I would say to you guys with my last words… and then he said wrote a summary of that.
I lay there, overwhelmed. What had just happened? So unaware as I slept, this all played out. Now, just moments into this new day I am aware of each breath I am taking. Time feels frozen.
Thin time for a moment, but thin time. It’s that place you go when you are in between spaces, places. How will this end? It can go either way. When life and death both feel so real and you know they are just outside your reach.
I was glad I wasn’t awake for the texts as they had been coming in over a twenty-minute period. To be able to scroll down and see, on the ground now…. I didn’t have to go to that in between place. But I knew it was there.
Each and every day we live in this place, but the awareness of it only comes at certain times. This flight, that near car accident, the fall, the abnormal test report, the moment when you’ve lost sight of your child. All those experiences that make us stop and be grateful for life as it is.
I was dripping with sweat from my 5 mile run when Drew finally made it home. He let me hug him, sweaty body and all.
Last night as we climbed into bed I was so aware of the gift of the moment. Another night together in our house with our kids safely under our roof. The gift of reaching out and touching his warm arm as he lay there.
He tells me again, I started a text…
My stomach flips as he says this. The awareness of the thin time is around us again.
We turn off the lights and fall asleep to a quiet house, except for that bedroom fan. I’m on my back, so still. I breathe in deeply and let it out.
I’m so thankful for more time.
*thin places quote from Eric Weiner, NYT.