the ugly earring

ug‧ly [uhg-lee] offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance

a vocabulary lesson

we sat down to our green table with a plate of waffles and maple syrup early one august morning.

lover kept time between each contraction.

as the moments shortened between, we finished breakfast and prepared the nest. we decided early on that me and lover would steer the ship, a midwife would serve as a guide if needed, and A and my mother would be present.

when my mother arrived, the labor pains had sharpened. the bedroom window curtain was pulled back, providing the soft morning light. The view of our backyard served as a focal point as each contraction became heavier and more present.  when the ring of fire, the crowning of M, arrived, i heard lover giving A her daily vocabulary lesson:

“Sinuous. The weary travelers followed the sinuous path to the river although they feared that they were lost.”

the ring of fire is known as the pinnacle of pain – the moment when a new mother may say, “i can’t.” if  all is well, it is the denouement, the last act, before hearing the first cry of her new child.

As the contractions intensified, my mother whispered, “where’s the midwife?”

lover reassured her that we would be fine either way. she wrapped her arms around me, and I felt the comfort of my mother as she embraced and held her daughter up. that strength, a mother’s embrace, shifted everything.


there was a knock on the door. The midwife arrived, but already, in our little house, there was harmony. Bach Cello Suite No. 5 played in the background. Lover took the lead, and A and my mother were at arm’s length as the sinuous path opened up into a valley, and there was home.

we were never lost.

(M was born the day before the ascension of Mary.)


have a look

(first photograph of the sun)

Looking directly at the Sun causes phosphene visual artifacts and temporary partial blindness. It also delivers about 4 milliwatts of sunlight to the retina, slightly heating it and potentially causing damage in eyes that cannot respond properly to the brightness.