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
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
It was when I left all we once were that
the agony began, the fear and questions came,
and I wept, I wept. And tears
I had never known
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 when they accepted,
God was ever present in my arms.
And He did not say,
“Where have you
For then I knew my soul—every soul—
has always held
"When I Was the Forest" by Meister Eckhart, as rendered by Daniel Ladinsky, Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, translated by Daniel Ladinsky (Penguin Compass, 2002).
Art credit: "Birds, a Bison, and a Bit of an Illusion," photograph dated December 6, 2014, by Ron Dudley.