Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Heart's Haven: A Thin Place?

Some time back, when the four authors involved first started writing stories about couples brought together through Heart's Haven, the local (fictional) newspaper - Angel Falls Trumpet - took some interest in the place. Their columnist, Belle Eyre, wrote a few articles. We'd like to share them with you. We'll start with this one, and add another in a few days. We hope you all enjoy these pieces as much as we did. :)

Heart’s Haven…a Thin Place?
by Belle Eyre
Angel Falls Trumpet Staff Writer

You’ve heard of “thin places.” They’re mystical places in one’s life, or sometimes even physical locations where the “veil” between our world and another world is thin, bringing the other world nearer our own. Some believe in them. Some don’t. But the idea of thin places has become increasingly popular.

Is Heart’s Haven one of those controversial places?

Located in the fictional East Texas town of Angel Falls, Heart’s Haven is a small, modest rental cottage complex. Aside from the fact that nearly everyone who comes into contact with this friendly little community winds up in love, there’s that other thing…you know—that “angel” thing…

Andrew Hart
Oh, you hadn’t heard? Well, it seems the owner of Heart’s Haven, one crusty old bachelor named Andrew Hart, is rumored to not only see but actually speak to…well, umm…angels. As in, the man has actual conversations with them. Regularly.

Kind of odd, since he’s a bit taciturn when it comes to human beings. Doesn’t have a lot to say, period. (He outright refused to speak with me when I visited!) The old guy can’t even be bothered to acknowledge these rumors. On the other hand, he doesn’t deny them....

But it isn’t just old Hart’s winged friends that make one question that “thin place” thing. Several of his current tenants have admitted to strange things happening after they moved into one of those quaint little cottages that make up the complex. (Speaking of which, those units truly are lovely! Hart apparently has a divine touch when it comes to growing things, and he’s turned his little haven into a heavenly place...! Ahem. Well, perhaps that was the wrong choice of words, but trust me—Hart has a very green thumb.)

Pia Peretti
Pia Peretti claims that the day she first visited Heart’s Haven, she felt something strange. After looking at the empty cottage (which she ended up renting, by the way), she spent that entire evening in a frenzy of design madness, slashing out page after frenzied page of angel wings in various shapes and from different perspectives. She dropped into an exhausted sleep, and when she awakened, she realized she had come up with designs for no less than three angel-themed jewelry designs.

Yet Peretti claims she didn’t hear the rumors about Hart until after she moved into the complex.

Zoe Wyndham
And then there’s Zoe Wyndham. This time-misplaced flower child has lived in Heart’s Haven just over a year. So far, she hasn’t been bitten by the love bug, but…she’s completely sold on the idea that Hart sees angels. In fact, the winsome sprite professes to see the winged creatures herself! “I don’t have as strong a link to them as Mr. Hart does,” she told this reporter. “But I do see my own angel, and occasionally those attached to others around me. I don’t have the ability to speak with them, like Mr. Hart, but I’d certainly love to!”

“So, I guess there’s no need to ask if you believe angels walk this property, is there?” I asked Zoe.

“Of course I believe it!” She actually seemed confused by the question. “Don’t you?”

I left Heart’s Haven feeling as though I’d visited a thin place, but I can’t decide whether it was the quaint little community, or something in my slightly bemused brain.

As I left Zoe’s place and walked beneath her trellised gate—overhung, as are all eight gates in the complex, with a carved wood sign that reads, “May love find all who enter here”—I heard something unusual…like the beating of enormous wings.

And something wrapped itself around my shoulders. Something too soft to be of this earth, and yet so strong! I knew I could never fall as long as…whatever it was…held me. Nothing could harm me while I stood within the circle of its embrace.

Then it was gone, and I felt so alone. And yet…not alone. Ecstatic. Over-joyed. I felt as if I’d been visited by one of Heaven’s own emissaries.


Away from Heart’s Haven now, I can’t stop thinking about…well, everything. Did I really feel what I thought I felt? Or did I allow myself to get caught up in the hyperbole of Heart’s Haven, and simply imagine the entire incident?

All I can say for sure is that I’m beginning to believe in thin places. And if they do exist, then Heart’s Haven is one of them.

It’s located just south of Angel Falls, on the main highway that runs through town and along the edge of the Angelina National Forest. You can’t miss it…a huge sign hangs over a set of double gates out front. Letters have been cut, rather inexpertly, into the wood. They read: HEART’S HAVEN.

Make a sharp right beneath the sign, drive around behind the "big house," and take a look around. Find out for yourself…. 

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