For the Love of Animals


imagesI recently had to do a funeral for somebody who was deeply private, but one of the few things I discovered about him was his love for animals… so I went in search of a reading about animals, and came across these lovely words by Meister Eckhart which begin “If I were alone in the desert” … and with a bow and a flourish to the mystic who penned this exquisite thought 700 years ago, I have written a variation on his theme. I hope you like it:

If I Were Alone in the Desert
with thanks to Meister Eckhart

If I were alone in the desert
And feeling afraid
I would take an animal with me
Then my fear would fade
For that living spirit
Would be by my side
And make me strong
And the fear of loneliness
Deep, dark loneliness
Could never take hold

If I were alone in the wilderness
I’d take a dog with me
And we’d trot side by side
Through the windswept sands
The stony hills and the empty lands
Courage and resolve
Would be our companions
For the unspoken
Is the language
Of true friends

If I were a wanderer
In the chaos
Of man-made disorder
In a devastated city
I would walk with my cat
And my cat would walk with me
We’d have no fear
For our loving friendship
Would carry us through
Streets of desolation
Memories of sorrow

And… If I meandered gently
Through a flowered meadow
I’d choose to have
A friendly bird on my shoulder
So we could share
The joy of life
The beauty of harmony
The mystery of death
And the perfection of eternity


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