Rilke: A Few More Warm Transparent Days . . .

There’s a poem by the German poet Ranier Maria Rilke that begins “Lord it is time. The huge summer has gone by . . .” which I kept thinking about as I walked around the ranch looking for the cows.

The good news is that Big Mac is better.

The other news is we have a new female calf named Lightbulb. Here’s a kind of blurry picture, but you’ll understand the name.

She seems to be very happy these days with her little herd.

Anyway, about halfway up the hill I heard a meowing sound. It was Dudley the cat, following me on my walk. He wanted me to wait up for him.

It takes over an hour to walk around a little loop road we’ve carved out for ourselves. The road goes through a meadow, up a hill to a grove of blue oaks, down a path covered with buckeye, past a hill of ceanothus and bay laurel near the pond. There are lots of hiding places for bobcats and coyotes, and Dave even saw a mountain lion once, sitting on a rock cleaning his face with his paws.

I don’t really like Dudley to follow me this far because of all the wild critters, but I wasn’t turning back now. I figured I could just carry him through the wooded places.

Anyway it was such a beautiful, warm November day the two of us stopped in the meadow to take in the view, which is where Dave found us and snapped this picture.

I should be in my office adding more copyedited chapters to my novel for you all to read. You’re stuck on Chapter Five, I know. But, it was so beautiful out can you blame me? I keep hoping for a really rainy day.

Well, rain or no rain, I promise in the next few days I’ll have a couple more chapters up.

Meanwhile, here’s that Rilke poem I mentioned.


Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

– Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Stephen Mitchell

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