Thin places

A lovely reader of mine wrote a comment on one of my posts from the last few days about “thin places”. She explained that there are certain places in the world where the distance between earth and ‘heaven’ are thin…there’s almost no space between the two. I looked it up, and it’s a celtic thing. I suppose it could be a way of saying that it’s a place where a God may exist I suppose, but I love this expression and explanation so much more…and it makes sense to someone like me who doesn’t have such a strong connection to a “God”.

We were driving through the huge mountains the other day and I turned to Rob and said “this is what I imagine heaven would be like. If there were a heaven.” I kept thinking about my Uncle Vic, he just kept coming into my head. He was right there, in some strange way. We stopped a little while on for some lunch in a funny little pub and while I was eating my soup on came Willy Nelson singing an Elvis classic “You were always on my mind”. Willy Nelson just summed up my Uncle…he listened to him, loved him and every time I hear him I think of him. I am a person that loves a sign, and boy was that a sign. Of course I promptly burst into tears…Harps asking if I was crying because the ham was so good…and I knew he WAS there. With me. So strange.

Then I heard about thin places and now…well it all makes sense. I saw some thin places. Felt them. Sensed them. Didn’t even know about them and yet…huh. I know that so much of our time up north near Skye we were in thin places.

What a treat to have the chance.

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I left a little piece of heart up there and I feel a bit sad now it’s over and we have left. Onward to the next part of the adventure though, and of course ever grateful for our time there.

Ever been to a thin place?
Isn’t it a wonderful notion?


  1. Oh yah! Made my day to see this beautiful phrase introduced to many more Australians and abroad. My friend who has been to Iona in Scotland, and who was born in Scotland but now lives in QLD, Australia, was the one who said Scotland is FULL of thin places. All that ancient history. See it speaks to me and I havn’t even been! May your eyes be opened and senses heightened to thin places where ever you go now Beth. Thanks for the great photography along the way. Love the story about your Uncle, thats synchronicity me giving you the phrase you needed! You know that was the first time I have ever commented on a blogpost as I usually think you have many comments so I just read 😉

  2. this blog ever ceases to amaze me … And make me smile. Cheers!

  3. Oh this is beautiful (+ Harps and the ham – she’s a cracker). Love the notion of thin places.

  4. Oh Beth, I KNOW. Skye and the country around there…it got into my soul when I visited. There is just something about it there. Ancient and knowing and real.

  5. What a beautiful idea, and experience. Thanks for sharing your trip with us Beth. xx

  6. You took my breath away with that post Beth…and made me cry at the cafe.
    Oh so true, those ‘signs’ bring tears to my eyes too.

  7. Harps and the ham… how well does she know you?!!

  8. Beth, I’m not a regular commenter, but I’m a regular reader of your blog and many others. Thanks so much for this post, it truly touched me and I love that phrase. I think many places are “thin” places, and often it is places you feel most at home and serene in. For me, that place is 3.5 hours south of Perth, on the Blackwood river in winter. It’s magic, the trees go over the water, steam off the water and it’s quiet, oh so quiet. Loving the pics, the stories and so glad you are having a fab time. xxxx P.S. Coveting that leather jacket!

  9. Got a little teary reading this, just lovely!

  10. Oh totally! New Zealand is like that… I’ll have to do Scotland one day it looks amazing!

  11. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It’s absolutely breathtaking. And keep on finding that tear wrenching ham – can only be a good thing!!!

  12. It is a wonderful notice. A thin place for me would have to be at the top of my parents farm in NZ, tank paddock we called it. The view was spectacular, the wind always whipped your hair and I always felt on top of the world there. I’m a huge believer of signs! I often tell my children I’m crying because I’m so excited to see them or some other rubbish, thankfully they believe it.

  13. Thin places and serendipity. Love it!
    Thanks for taking us on the journey with you…
    Are you sure it wasn’t the ham …?

  14. After Theresa writing about ‘thin places’ in your other post, I went off and merrily googled away. I came across this, which I loved:

    ‘We’re in the territory, here, of the ineffable: the stuff we can’t express because it’s beyond the power of language to do so. Explanations aren’t merely useless; they threaten to get in the way. The experience of a thin place feels special because words fail, leaving stunned silence. “Anybody who goes through life with open mind and open heart will encounter these moments of revelation,” writes Roger Scruton, the philosopher. “Moments that are saturated with meaning, but whose meaning cannot be put into words.”‘

    ‘This column will change your life’ Oliver Burkeman The Guardian 22nd March 2014

  15. Such a beautiful post Beth. Am sitting here crying. The pictures are spectacular but your words were sublime

  16. I have goosebumps. I love the idea of thin places. LOVE it xx

  17. Lisa Aherne says

    What a wonderful post! And, yes, I have experienced many thin places, but did not know that is what they are called. A new phrase in my vocabulary. Thank you. Enjoy all the happy thin places to come! As always your photos are special.

  18. hi Beth
    I have loved seeing your Skye photos. My grandmother’s family was from Skye. the MacKinnons. A big family there. when i was younger i was on my way to Skye but got very sick and ended up in hospital in Inverness so never made it. I feel that I’ve been there now through your posts so thank you. And i love the term thin places. I know a few also.
    Enjoy your trip
    Fiona x

  19. Love it all! x

  20. got to love the Celts x

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