I didn't go to Tour de Hives or to the bee movie or any of the other Portland Bee Week events. My grandmother passed away, and a week ago, I was traveling across the country to be with my family and to try to say goodbye.

Emily recently published this poem on her blog, and I found it oddly appropriate and comforting. I haven't read Rainer Maria Rilke in a long time, but if asked, I would probably include him on my list of favorite poets.

Autumn Day

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 on the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

The first verse is the most comforting with the prayerful tone and the acknowledgment of the end of summer, the end of something prodigious and bountiful and beautiful. My grandmother died on the last day of summer. Here's the last picture ever taken of us, with my sister Emily on the left.
She had a beautiful smile, but she wouldn't smile for the picture. I believe she was tired. "Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by...on the meadows let the wind go free."


  1. jessica, i’m very sorry for your loss. death makes so many things seem trivial. it makes words seem worthless unless they’re exactly the right words, so i’m glad that you connected with the rilke poem. if you need anything, truly, i’m here for you. i’d give you a big hug if i could.

  2. thank you, emily! your words mean a lot, your hug is welcomed, and the poem was perfectly placed and timed. xo.

  3. This was sadly beautiful. I have to say, seeing this picture of Gram makes me realize that she is in the right place now!