"...As the ruby in the setting
As the fruit upon the tree,
As the wind blows over the plains...
So are you to me..."
I love this song...love, love, love it. "So Are You to Me" has been one of my favorite love songs, since the first time I heard it performed by Kat Bode and Peter Adams. And although it was used to keynote an earlier poem (on this blog), it serves to underscore a different message in this piece, for reasons that I hope will be obvious.
Today, as I was thinking about about Mary Baker Eddy's statement:
"Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man..."
it was this song that I came to mind.
Over the years, I've have loved hearing it performed during marriage ceremonies. But I could easily see that it is not just a lovely romantic wedding song. It is a song about the kind of love that Jesus shared, so generously...impartially and universally...with everyone he came in contact with. He loved them enough to behold their perfection (their wholeness) right where they were, right in front of their own eyes. And in doing so, it was possible for them, and others, to see the beauty, power, and grace within themselves. Innate spiritual resources that had the power, and potential to heal, and to bless .
Not long ago I wrote about an etymological discovery I had made. I'd found a definition of the word, "behold," that read:
"to see, and call attention to"
And tonight, as I write this, I am realizing that this is a perfect, and accurate, description of what we do for those we love. We are "the setting" in which their beauty and brilliance...their color and depth...is revealed, exposed to the light of love's illuminating grace, held high for all to see...each facet full of reflected, dancing light.
I see this in the lives of spiritual thinkers -- mothers, nurses, partners, husbands, healers, parents, teachers, healers, coaches - who see the good, the presence of God, in the lives of others...calling attention to it, for that very individual, and others, to see, experience, and appreciate.
I have experienced this kind of love. I think that the first time I knew how it felt to "be the ruby in the setting" of someone's love, was with my younger sister. She was so talented and confident. She was willing to audition for roles, try-out for dance teams, put herself forward in ways that I was not able to do. But what she would do...once she "made the team" or "got the part"...was to bring my talents to the attention of coaches and teachers so that I too would have opportunities...opportunities that I would never have had the courage to explore on my own.
So, why has this song become the pure and perfect, quintessential love song for me? Because, I think, this is what real love is all about. Holding our loved ones aloft, up to the light, high above even their own view of themselves, so that all of their unique spiritual gifts can be recognized, valued, and used for a holy purpose.
My daughters had a camp counselor last year who did this for them. She saw that each of the girls had a very different, but equally remarkable, way of working with horses. She identified one child's deep-settled calm, and placed her on a horse that, in partnership, would reveal how that same peacefulness...coupled with a growing inner confidence...brought out the best in their horse/rider partnership. She recognized the spirited fearlessness in our other daughter, and put her on a horse that would enjoy her exuberance, while demanding that she develop a sense of quiet strength in her movements.
Each of our daughters' camp counselors have showed a deep, and abiding, love for them that I will never forget. I think about what I have learned from them...often...in my own relationships with others -- my husband, my daughters, those who call me for help, friends, colleagues, and those I meet in the course of my day.
When we really love another, we are willing to "be the setting," and not the gemstone. My sister was never afraid to hold my gifts up to others, and point out how I could be a blessing, a contribution, a jewel of great value to their experience. To truly love another is to not only see, but to "see and call attention to" what they may not...at that moment...be able to see in themselves.
This is love...real love,