Poem of the Month: When I Was the Forest

By Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328)

Translation: Daniel Ladinsky Love Songs from God

When I was the stream
when I was the forest
when I was still the field
when I was every hoof
foot, fin and wing
when I was the sky itself
no one ever asked me did I have a purpose
no one ever wondered
was there anything I might need
for there was nothing
I could not love
It was when I left all we once were
That the agony began
The fear and questions came
and I wept
I wept tears I had never known before
So, I returned to the river
I returned to the mountains
I asked for their hand in marriage again
I begged—
I begged to wed every object and creature
And when they accepted
God was ever present in my arms.
And He did not say,
“Where have you been?”
For then I knew my soul—every soul—
has always held ‘Him.’


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