Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Threshold Pilgrimage: Part Six - Boundaries and Crossing Places

The causeway between South Uist and Eriskay, Scotland
   I have been doing a lot of reading in preparation for my up-coming journey to the sacred sites of Scotland and Ireland as part of my Threshold Pilgrimage.  One in particular has been very inspiring.  Sacred Spaces - stations on a Celtic Way by Margaret Silf.

   She devotes a whole chapter to what she calls "crossing places" and another to the concept of "boundaries".  My vision of "threshold" has been expanded yet again.

   In Celtic spirituality crossing places, be they bridges or causeways, are very significant.  They, by their very nature, become places of sacred passage and, appropriately, "thin places".  I've thought of threshold as tunnels but now I can see them as physical connections between one way of being and another.

   Boundary places are where two ways of being touch in a singular and significant way.  I think of the edge where the sea touches the land or the moment of sunrise or sunset.  These boundary places have a special importance in Celtic spirituality. All are places where we can reach through and into another sense of reality.

   Years ago, I was sitting on my front step resting from some gardening activity and I saw an approaching rainstorm coming from the west.  For just a very few minutes, it was actually raining on one side of the road while I was sitting in the sunlight.  I remember being a bit awed by it at the time.  What I was really experiencing was the sacred moment of being on a boundary...the very notion of a "thin place".

   I've recorded Silf's seven "stations" in my vade mecum and on my journey I will try to seek them out.  After all, I had chosen the three locations I will travel to for their "thinness".  What better way to celebrate the concept of threshold than to seek these special stations along the way?

   Bless us this day with vision,
May this place be a sacred place,
a telling place,
Where heaven and earth meet.
 A Celtic Prayer

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