A Gift of Butterflies
Mariposa was always surrounded by butterflies, even more so when she healed the sick and dying. But her gift of healing was not her main purpose on the earth. She had another even greater gift to give and finally it was time. More
Mariposa had been stillborn in the forest. Tomas had wrapped her in a foil blanket and laid her aside and tended to his wife uttering a cry of relief when she roused. “Oh, thank God! I thought I had lost both her and you.”
“Lost! Her? No, no!” Maria had shouted then struggling to sit up higher while leaning on the great tree. Her face had played host to a myriad of expressions before she could speak again. “NO! I won't believe it. Show me. I want to see her.”
Tomas had leaned back allowing her to see the little hollow where the lifeless infant had lain, pointing without looking, his own grief too great. Maria peered into the hollow between the tree roots but the infant was hidden completely by a thick swarm of butterflies. But Tomas and Maria both heard the rustling of the foil blanket wafting up through the thousands of fluttering wings. The infant was moving.
“My baby, my baby,” Maria had cried out and picked her up through the cloud of butterflies.
The infant looked directly at them with a silent and calm smile. The butterflies reformed around her and her mother and Maria laughed. “You my baby girl, we will call you Mariposa. You are a gift of butterflies.
The butterflies had never left her, day or night, sometimes a few, sometime a swarm. When she was twelve and her healing gift had fully manifested, her true gift to the world had been revealed.
Police sirens had pierced the air just as the first rock had crashed through their picture window. Another rock followed in quick succession forcing Maria and Tomas Ramos to slam the front door. Maria had shielded her swollen abdomen with her arms and hands and retreated to the couch with Tomas beside her.
They had stared out of the remains of their window at the crowd. The police had culled the most violent and reigned in the surge of humanity threatening their yard. They had never imagined the demands for Mariposa's abilities would ever reach this level of violence and chaos. There was broken windows, police manhandling people in an angry crowd, and their own neighbors pushing down their picket fence and charging across their yard.
The police had further corralled the surging, screaming mob, pushing them back into the street, but the task had been made so much more difficult by the fact that the crowd was full of families with small children and individuals of all ages in wheelchairs and on crutches. Despite the fanatical few who had still shouted epithets, suggestions of burning witches, and the coming of hellfire and damnation, the majority had just milled around exuding a pervasive undercurrent of grief and desperation.
Mariposa had looked at Maria and Tomas. “I love you both. You are the reason I exist, but I must heal as many as I can.” She walked to the door and a roar erupted from the crowd. The police had re-doubled their efforts to contain the seething, surging mass of desperate people. Mariposa had looked back at Maria. “Mom, you should lay down. The baby is struggling and it not time yet.” Then she had gone to heal the crowd.
Maria and Tomas had rushed to the window and saw Mariposa sit down on the front steps and begin to heal the sick and dying as they were escorted to her by the police. Maria had returned to the couch, laying down as suggested but Tomas had remained at the window watching his miracle daughter. She had directed the swarms of butterflies by touching petitioner after petitioner. After each one she had slumped a little further and closed her eyes a little longer before she could continue. Tomas, still standing in the window, saw Mariposa expend herself nearly to collapse but she had looked up directly into her father's eyes and said, “Not yet father. I have to heal as many as possible. This is my last opportunity. I will soon be complete. Go to Mom, she needs you. Go Now!”
She raised her voice a little at the end. Then she looked around and without another word she rose and rushed inside, locking the door behind her.
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