Darling, when will you be mine? Tell me, quando, quando, quando?
About six years ago I took my youngest daughter to a dress rehearsal for a dance show. It was going to last for most of the day, one of those technical rehearsals where they check lighting, sound, entrances and exits. Because she was still pretty young, I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her there alone. Instead I took my bag full of things to read and do and sat in the theater. I paid little attention to what was happening on stage until as some point I heard this lovely music…Michael Bubble singing a duet. I glanced up and became riveted by the couple, who I later learned was dancing a rumba to the song, Quando, Quando. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and as I watched I inexplicably began to cry. Even now the memory of it brings tears to my eyes.
At first, I thought it was love for my husband that was fluttering to the surface, but then in my deepest depths I heard a whisper, “that’s you and Me.” I knew that this romantic, sensual dance was a reflection of the all-consuming love that the Beloved had for me and that He was inviting me to dance. He was even asking in the lyrics of the song, “When will you be mine?…We can share a love divine…Let me show you the way to a joy beyond compare.”
I recognize this moment as a kind of divine communication because, not only was I deeply touched, but I somehow transcended my small self and then felt immensely grateful. I don’t share this story often. Actually, only a handful of people have heard it because it sounds a little crazy…or a lot crazy, depending on your perspective. I share it here because I have promised to be as honest as I can.
The memory of this moment, or encounter, has become a precious keepsake that I hold incredibly dear and a beautiful metaphor for my relationship with God. Over and over again, I learn that God reaches out to each of us, not just saints and mystics. If ordinary me can have a moment like this, anyone can! From this moment I also learn that God yearns for us in a most intimate way.
Sometimes when I think back on it, I am also tinged with sadness that I fail over and over to just surrender, to give myself over completely to this Divine Dance. And yet, I continue to be very grateful for the experience and for the lasting image, because in the memory of that rumba, I can see her so clearly…my true self…she is the one that says “Yes” over and over and dances freely with her Beloved for the whole world to see.
Post script: After I wrote this and published it I was feeling embarrassed and questioning whether ego led me to write about this experience and then later that night I found this poem by the German 13 century mystic, Mechtild of Magdeburg. It felt like a reassurance.
I cannot dance, O Lord,
Unless You lead me.
If You wish me to leap joyfully,
Let me see You dance and sing
Then I will leap into Love
And from Love into Knowledge,
And from Knowledge into the Harvest,
That sweetest Fruit beyond human sense.
There I will stay with You, whirling.