On January 3, my essay “Everything Reaches to Light” was published in Ascent. I was at my mother’s, celebrating the December holidays in January as my family has done for many years. After our kids were in bed, I showed my husband the piece on my phone’s screen. We quietly celebrated this little essay about cutting through hard layers of weeds and realism and decay to seek salve for the senses. The piece is set in my mother’s back yard, which we all looked out on that night, Mom from her porch, all of us from our childhood bedrooms.
The following morning, my mother was taken by ambulance to the ER. She would never return to her house.
I don’t believe in much more than coincidence, but I do know that such a sequence of events makes my look back on this particular publication both difficult and healing.