Moments, locations, within or without the
confines of flesh and spirit, thin places call
us, whisper memories we can barely translate,
only know we need to hold them closer.
In the dark night of the bedroom, one of my
thin places wavers on the border between
sleep and waking, between dream and what
we call real—whatever real is.
Waking now and then, knowing a dream has
been seizing me, I reach for it only to feel it
drift away like smoke, into a place I cannot
reenter, a portal that will only open unbidden.
Lost loved ones visit me there, pull me into
places where I feel at home although I don’t
remember them. Unable to linger, I daily
seek thin places hiding in the natural world.
Time spent in communion with deer, or gazing
into a shallow roadside pond of clotted water
lilies as if it were a scrying mirror—when I enter
these still moments, a thin place embraces me.
I become deer, and even stagnant water holds
the sunning turtle who slides off the log into
the dark between yellowing lily pads that hint
at shortening daylight, cooler weather.
Along any path, thin places wait for us,
and we must seek them, must learn to slow
our pace and tame our fears until we find
ourselves between worlds, on our way home.
© 2020 Penny Harter