Aurora Borealis, by Ásdís Ingólfsdóttir

The blue lights from the ambulance light up the dark winter night as it rushes through the empty streets. The young couple inside look terrified. What they have been so excited about and awaiting for the last nine months, is happening now. The ambulance stops at the maternity ward and the young woman is brought on a gurney into the hospital. The young man runs aside the gurney like a dog trainer showing his labrador to the judges. The young woman moans as they enter the elevator and her pain is reflected in the face of the young man.

The room they are brought to is not big, but an effort has been made to make it look cosy, so that parents-to-be will relax and the birth will take place in a safe and nice atmosphere. The young woman is in no condition to realize those facts as she is already in labour and her pain is enormous. The young man does not know what to do; he is beside himself with worry and the helplessness is making him moan too while his fiancee moans in her birthpangs.

Outside, the dark night is lit up by snow that has fallen during the day-but now the sky is getting clearer and the frost sets in. Nobody inside the little room notices any of that and, when the doctor comes in, the mother-to-be looks at him with hope in her eyes. The young man asks if it will take long. The doctor does not stay for long and just says that all is normal. It does not calm them.

The midwife comes as the contractions get very close. She brings with her a soothing atmosphere and suddenly they are all in a bulb of labour;  the mother pushes, the father encourages her and the sweat seeps down their faces and necks unnoticed. Then the cry. A new born is put into the arms of the exhausted mother. The father cries and the midwife is busy with chores. She takes the newborn gently from the mother as the doctors arrive and afterwards brings the baby to the father.

As the green and purple northern lights display their dance across the dark winter sky, the father looks amazed at his daughter and brings the new born baby to the window at the maternity ward. He susses the baby and whispers, ‘Look. Look, the northern lights Aurora. Aurora, that will be your name, my northern light, my golden northern light.’

Aurora Borealis, whispers the tired mother as she looks out the window and smiles softly.