I like this poem by Meister Eckhart, a German mystic, monk, and Catholic scholar from the late 1200s and early 1300s. I particularly like the last line, “Love frees.” It occurs to me that the best of friendship does this also. Or the best of working together. Or the best of community. It occurs to me, and makes me smile like the burro, that we humans are coded to appreciate freedom.
Love Does That
All day long a little burro labors, sometimes
with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries
about things that bother only
And worries, as we know, can be more exhausting
than physical labor.
Once in a while a kind monk comes
to her stable and brings
a pear, but more
he looks into the burro’s eyes and touches her ears
and for a few seconds the burro is free
and even seems to laugh,
because love does