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You ask, am I well?

Updated: May 20, 2022

Thank you. Yes. All things considered.

Two days ago, the field of barley just out and to the left, dark blue-green until then, suddenly put forth its sheaves -- the whole field, all in one day while I was indoors struggling with my "professionals" ("inepts"?) And now it sways, shimmering golden-and-baby-green in the wind, dazzling the eyes. Eyes that cannot focus on this cloud of wonder, blazing in seven million shades of baby green. I throw the dog a stick into the field and she disappears - only the swaying mustache of the barley marks where she is rutting for the stick.

So, yes, all things considered, I am well.

And up on Ranner Knapp (yes, it means in Luxembourgish what it sounds like in English, Luxemburgish is a Franconian language, and therefore closely related to Dutch and therefore closer to English than to German), well, out there, your favorite crop -- rape -- is blooming, rich, heady yellow, both sides of the narrow path.

Or was, two days ago, intensely scented, stifling, and deafening with the hum of bees.

But when I went there today, just two days later, the bloom was half off and there were barely any bees in the field.

In our forest, wild cherries are pea-sized and the catkins on the walnut tree are as big as my thumb. The air is heavy with scent and birds make an incredible racket. And when you clear a crest of a hill (and it's all hills around here), in every direction you look, the world seems veiled with a yellowish veil: the eager pollen of trees and grasses flying a mile high.

So, yes, I'm all right.

And, oh, the top 3 inches of the rape, now good four-foot-tall, are edible, flower and all, very sweet and intensely weedy.

In two weeks, I will be poaching them to make pasta con broccolini. Farfalle will be the poison of choice,

With just an inch of chouriço ("chorizo", says my spell-checker, as dumb as a doornail).

My bitch is dying.

She's got arthritis and dysplasia. She's barely got any teeth left (all those years of shredding sticks, that really bad habit of her race, as drinking is of mine). And she can barely walk. Though she manages a 50-meter "sprint" every now and then. If you can call it that. And then suffers for the rest of the day for it.

When I arrived here, four years ago, she was at the height of her powers, like a 50-year-old woman, just past menopause, done with kids, and free to enjoy herself. We took five-hour walks, swam in the river, and chased deer and rabbits. She murdered a fox.

Now she's 80 years old and miserable. I kiss her and tell her, it's all right baby, when you bite it, I'll skin you and make a pillowcase out of you and will hold your ears to my face in my sleep until the day I die. (I make brave. How does one skin a dog?)

She listens attentively to what I say, with an expression that says, "Good God Wolf, I wish I knew what the heck you are saying" and then suggests we play ball.

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