Coming to Peace in the Presence of Wild Things: A Personal Exploration of the Intersections of the Environment and Faith
From a young age, I have felt the power that certain places have over me. Some made me feel an overwhelming sense of awe, some freedom, and some made me feel depths of peace unknown like Wendell Berry describes in the poem above. Considering my natural restlessness, a disposition that has been there since birth, the fact these places invoke a feeling of peace that washes over me speaks volumes to their power.
It wasn’t until college that I truly recognized this power of place, but since learning that fact I have sought its connection. A professor of mine gave me the language to describe this power that place has on me— he called these places “thin spaces.” These thin spaces, he told me, were where ancient Celts believed the boundary between the physical world we inhabit, and the spirit(ual) world is thin—. In some of these thin spaces, I believe the line is blurred, or non-existent altogether. It is as if the place inhabits both realms giving us a genuine look into what the world beyond our own is like.
This project will be an introduction to and exploration of these thin spaces that I have encountered in my time on Earth. I hope that in my story, these places' power will come through the pages and blur that line between worlds.
Randall, Hampton T., "Coming to Peace in the Presence of Wild Things: A Personal Exploration of the Intersections of the Environment and Faith" (2023). Student Scholarship. 33.