The funny thing is I don’t remember where I was when I heard the song.  I was certain I’d remember, but I guess life is often a blur.

It was during our vacation, and I was somewhere in Spain. Perhaps in a cathedral? My son says all we did was visit cathedrals. I can think of three or maybe four we visited in the four weeks.

I just remember hearing the song, “I’ll never leave you any more” playing in the background. In reality, it probably wasn’t that song. It probably was a song with a different title, and lyrics, that someone in the Church, many years ago, put new lyrics to. Like we used to sing, “the answer my friends, is in the hearts of men,” instead of “blowing in the wind.” Sorry Bob Dylan.

I’ll never leave you anymore. It’s a Church holy song, about how we’ll change the world and never let God down. I used to sing it to myself, pledging my heart and soul and life to God, as I walked down the street to school. I was in sixth grade, living with my brother and grandfather after my mother had left. I used to sing the song quietly to myself and cry, as I walked down the block each morning. Knowing that I had to work hard to not let God down. Knowing I could never work hard enough. The song was my Pledge. My devotion. My promise.

Then I let that God down. Or so it seemed at the time. I left the Church and abandoned the gift I had been given. Or so it seemed at the time.

And now I hear the song, or I hear some other song with the same music, and sing the words in my head:

     I’ll never leave you anymore,

     For I have found in your bright eyes,

     A river of love, a heart of gold,

     A peaceful mind, a hand to hold.

     And what’ll I do with the precious gift?

     Shall I embrace it to myself?

     Oh, no I can’t, I would loose it sure;

     It must be given if it’s to endure.

     And how will I use this treasure store?

     How will I share this wordless joy?

     I’ll greet all men with a loving heart;

     I’ll speak the truth with a clear voice.

     And together we’ll build a world that’s new.

     That’s fit for kings and fit for queens;

     We’ll raise them up to rule the land,

     And place dominion in your hand.

     I’ll never leave you anymore,

     For I have found in your bright eyes

     A river of love, a heart of gold,

     A peaceful mind, a hand to hold.

Hearing this song is the sort of thing that I used to worry would bring up guilt, or fear, or shame from leaving. I used to worry that I’d be overcome with sadness. Instead, as I sit somewhere in Spain, I hear the music, mouth the words, and feel a sense of calm overcome me. There still is a sense of goodness and oneness that I won’t leave. There still is an awe in me that sees, and hopes for, a “better” world. There still is a promise for a world of love and peace and joy and ease. A world that exists in each moment if I choose it.

Maybe it’s me that I’ll never leave. Wow. That’s a concept. Maybe it’s this sense of peace and love that are there for the asking. Maybe it’s my Pledge to be my best me and to love those around me with as pure and true a heart as I can. To love myself with as pure and true a heart as I can. Maybe this is still what matters to me. Could I have “left” even though I promised never to leave, and now, thirty-plus years later, realize that I never left that love and joy and connection?

I’ll never leave you anymore.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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