"...The sky may be starless
The night may be moonless
But deep in my heart there's a glow
For deep in my heart
I know that you love me
You love me...
because you told me so..."
I remember Darby Tygraber's mom listening to the Nat King Cole album that included this song, Love Letters from Your Heart, while she "ran the sweeper" around their Leavitt Brothers ranch-style house, in our 1950's suburban neighborhood. The sweeper wasn't an electric vacumn cleaner. It was an enclosed dustpan with two bristly brushes that rotated and picked up dust and dirt when you pushed it along the carpet or floor using the long handle that was attached to it. It was quiet, so listening to this album on the record player in the living room, while "running the sweeper," was actually doable in those days.
Mrs. Tygraber was someone you could honestly refer to as "a lovely woman"...because she was. She wore belted shirtwaist house dresses in pastel prints, stockings, pumps, pearls, and earrings when she cleaned, altering her outfit only slightly with a skirted apron when she cooked. She was unconditionally kind. She was the "genuine article." A pearl of great price...in pearls!!
To this day I can remember the way she would sing along with whatever was playing on the record player. Or how she would dry her hands on the red and white striped tea towl at her waist, toss it on the kitchen counter, untie her apron and drape it over the room divider on her way to the front door, whenever the doorbell rang. It was like watching Ginger Rogers dance to a well-choreographed segment in a musical...I am certain that she actually glided across the aqua cut-loop carpet as she made her way from the kitchen to the entryway without missing a beat. She opened the door to the Fuller Brush salesman with as much hospitality, warmth, and joy as she would greet a long-lost sibling. My sister and I loved to go to their house after school. It was as warm and cozy as our house, but with no babies or toddlers to hold, and feed, and try to keep from crying while our mom got dinner on the table. It was a refuge from the "romper room" of our house, and we loved it...and her.
Today, when I unexpectedly received an email, from a friend I hadn't heard from in the past six years, "Love Letter from Your Heart" was the song that popped into my head. My friend's "voice" came as a gentle hand reaching out from a place I had not given myself permission to revisit for a long time. Ours was a friendship that had been steeped in the waters of another chapter in my life, one filled with mission and purpose...one I loved dearly, but didn't know how to hold onto, while still trying to walk forward into a new space.
It wasn't that I hadn't thought of her...often...I did. I just didn't know how to bridge time and distance and questions that didn't have easy answers. But I discovered that , like Mrs. Tygraber, she knew how to open the door without pre-disposition or suspicion. She just opened it with love.
I also discovered that my friend had read this blog. Perhaps once, perhaps more than once...it didn't matter...just the thought that we had connected for the briefest of moments somewhere in the ether, where my thoughts (recorded on this site) had united in the space of her heart (as she read them), was like an ember whispered upon by the softest breath of friendship and love.
She said, in speaking of this blog, that the posts were like "love letters to God, love letters to the world"....I wonder if she knew that her sweet message...less than five sentences long...was like a love letter to God, in my life.
We write love letters to God everytime we celebrate the beauty of friendship, the joy of surrendering self-interest in service to others, express courage in reaching out when it is scary, each time we support the blessings we see in another's life. By doing so, we are acknowledging the presence of God in the lives of others...and therefore in our own consciousness by reflection - with appreciation and joy. It is as if we are saying, "oh my dear Father-Mother, I see You and You are Wonderful in all the fullness of your Being...in her, and him, and them."
In her Miscellaneous Writings 1883 - 1896, Mary Baker Eddy states:
"Abiding in Love, not one of you can be separated from me; and the sweet sense of journeying on together, doing unto others as ye would they should do unto you, conquers all opposition, surmounts all obstacles, and secures success."
and elsewhere, in The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, she writes:
"Beloved Students: — Your letter and dottings are an oasis in my wilderness. They point to verdant pastures, and are already rich rays from the eternal sunshine of Love, lighting and leading humanity into paths of peace and holiness."
When we embrace someone in our hearts - whether it be in prayer, letter-writing, reading their heart's musings, phoning, texting, or even just appreciating them in memory - we invite them into the secret place of the most High...the consciousnesss of Love, reflected in our loving consciousness...of them. And in this cherishing space we journey on together in fellowship, extending a divine embrace across the threshhold of time, timidity, and eternity.
So, tonight I am saying thank you to my friend (and friends)...for their love letters to God...and to me. I think this is often how God reminds us, over and over again, that He loves us. Please accept this post as my return reply...
Kate Robertson, CS