Summertime” Thin Places”

It is HOT here in Northwest Florida. How hot is it? ________ hot { quote from the movie _Good Morning Vietnam_}

It is true that I’ve spent pretty much ALL of my adult life here {14 years} but these hot and HUMID summers depress me. No matter what one does, one cannot enjoy the outdoors here unless one stays submerge in water. Since the July 4 celebrations are coming up in this next week, summer is officially half-over in most parts of the nation. How I wish it were also so here in The Redneck Riviera, as I hate humidity & the ever-present threat of named storms that define Gulf Coast summers.

I didn’t always live here–as a matter of fact spent most of my life in the Greater Pittsburgh area–where summer lasted exactly 3 months.

Due to unforseen financial circumstances, I’ve had to postpone my annual sojourn up North until August. Although I am grateful that I * can* make this yearly pilgrimage to the land of my origins at the same time I feel figuratively & literally smothered by Florida’s intense heat & humidity & CANNOT WAIT to get back to the mountains for a fortnight!

There isn’t much that happens in southwestern Pennsylvania & eastern Ohio, but this is where I go to connect with my past, engage in the present with loved ones now & contemplate the future. I find many ” thin places within the tri-state area. { Thin places, according to my priest, are places where one feels that the connection between the Divine & humanity is closer, or” thin”}

Most of my trip up north is spent at my godparents’ lake & campground up on Ohio’s easternmost border. I pretty much lived here during summers of high school & the first attempt at college while I worked long hors in the snack bar. It was work, but this place fostered a sense of community that one rarely finds in today’s secular world. When I return to The Lake every summer, people who have known me a long time who still camp there say ” Hello, Sarah”. I find myself comfortably returning to the unusual lifestyle of a family owned & operated campground–and it is often as though I never left!

Where is your ” thin place”? here at home, one of my ” thin places is the memorial garden that is located on the parish property. Oftentimes on Sunday mornings, I’ll walk over to this garden for a few quiet moments of communion with Our Lord. Some people might find memorial gardens where ashes of the departed are interred to be creepy, but I find this a peaceful place where I can just sit & ” be”. When I travel North to my godparents’ place in the Allegheny Mountain foothills I also find time alone in te woods { especially in the woods by the creek} as ” thin”.

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