It was a sunny, clear day as Rosalba and Pedro walked to the store to get milk for mama.
“Adios, Mama.” Rosalba called.
Pedro ran ahead speedily.
“Slow down, Pedro!” Rosalba called. “Parate! You’re going too fast!”
“I want to go to the new bike store to see that shiny new red bike like Jose got.” Pedro called back.
“No, that’s too far. We need to get the milk for mama. She needs it right away.”
But Pedro was a willful boy who did not always listen to his older sister. He raced down the path away from the village.
“Wait Pedro. That’s the wrong way. That is not the way to the bike store!”
But Pedro ignored her and ran on ahead. So Rosalba had no choice but to chase after him.
The path was winding and full of bumps. Rosalba had trouble keeping up with Pedro. He was far ahead. All of the sudden he stopped.
“Oh, this is not the way to the bike store. Oh no, no, estamos perdidos! I don’t know where we are.” Pedro started to cry.
“Well if you had listened to me and not run off we would not have gotten lost. Let’s just turn around and find our way back.”
But Pedro had run so far ahead and somewhere they had made a turn off the path and Rosalba could not remember which path to take to get back to the village. Pedro was running back and forth getting all upset.
“Oh, no we are lost! And it is dark and scary here in the woods.” He started crying even louder. “Pedro just stop and be still for a moment. Let me think.”
Rosalba sat on a log. They had come upon a forest. It was getting windy and the sky was turning gray. It looked like it was going to rain. The trees were tall and thick. Rosalba closed her eyes and wished to be shown the way home. She placed her hand over her heart and whispered, “Please show us the way home.”
“Hoot, hoot. Hoot, hoot.” Rosalba opened her eyes and there sitting right in front of her on a tree branch was a huge owl with big yellow eyes. The owl spoke. “Follow the path to the left and take the bridge and you will find the help you seek.” Then the owl flew off silently.
“Did you see that owl?” Rosalba asked Pedro.
“No, what owl?’ Pedro replied.
“We need to take this path over the bridge.”
“How do you know?” Pedro asked. “I just do.” replied Rosalba. “Vamanos”.
“Oh let’s hurry. I want to get out of here.” Pedro said.
As they continued walking they were amazed to see the bike store over a hill in the distance.
“What! Look can you believe it there is the bike store. I’m going to the bike store.” Pedro said.
“No, we are already so late. We cannot stop now.” Pedro was getting mad and started to throw a tantrum. “I am going; I don’t care what you say!”
He started running over to the store. Rosalba ran to stop him. “Pedro listen to me! I know you want to go to the bike store but that is not the right thing to do. We all already late and mama must be really worried about us. Think of her. Going to the bike store will make you happy now but think how sad mama must be feeling. It is better to make others happy than always thinking of yourself first. Making others happy makes you happy. Do you understand?”
Then all of a sudden they heard a strange noise coming from inside the woods. It sounded like a wolf. “Owoooo”
“Oh, forget the bike store, let’s get out of here.” Pedro whispered.
They heard a sharp rustling in the woods and suddenly the wolf appeared right in front of them! Pedro let out a scream. He started to run.
Rosalba whispered to him. “Shh, be quiet and still. The wolf will not hurt us.” Pedro was so scared he could not move.
The wolf gently walked up to Rosalba and spoke! “You are on the right path. The way for you will be filled with challenges but you will be guided to follow your heart to do the right thing. You will be a guide and helper for all children that come after you. The cave ahead holds the key to finding your true mission in life. Continue on the path to the left and find the golden cave.”
“Oh that was scary, that wolf just looked at you then left! That is so strange.”
“You did not hear anything; you did not hear him speak.”
“What nonsense are you saying? Of course not! You are hearing wolves talk and seeing owls. What is wrong with you? Let’s just go, and get out of here. Forget about the bike store. You win. We still are lost. I don’t even see the bike store anymore. It has gotten so foggy and dark. This is the strangest day ever.”
They took the path to the left and walked over the bridge as the owl and the wolf had told Rosalba. They saw a light in the distance.
“Oh, look!” Pedro cried excitedly. “There is something ahead!”
The children ran ahead and were amazed to find a cave filled with golden light. As they got closer the sky cleared up and the sun shone brightly. A hint of lavender and jasmine filled the air. Beautiful flowers of many shapes and colors covered the cave. They speedily ran up to the cave.
This must be what the owl and wolf were talking about, Rosalba thought.
“Let’s go in.” she said.
Pedro followed her cautiously into the cave. More flowers and plants covered the inside of the cave. There were two songbirds singing in the corner. And next to the songbirds Rosalba saw the most amazing woman sitting on a carved wooden bench. She had long red hair and skin the color of the oyster shells she collected on the beach. She was wearing a beautiful white flowing dress. She had flowers in her hair. She looked to be a bit younger than her mother. She seemed to be filled with light. The golden light seemed to be coming from inside of her. “Oh she must be an angel!” Rosalba thought.
Pedro ran right up to her and blurted out “Oh, we are so happy to find you. We are lost and can’t find our way home. Can you help us?”
When the beautiful woman turned to look at her, Rosalba held her breath. Would the angel speak? Is she real? Rosalba wondered.
The woman did speak and her voice was as gentle and sweet as the birds that were singing next to her.
“Oh, yes children I can help you. Many children get lost here in the woods and I help them find their way home.”
Rosalba got up the nerve to speak. “Oh an owl and a wolf told me to come here.” Then she felt silly saying such a thing.
But the woman replied to Rosalba “Yes, they are my helpers. They guide children with open hearts to me so I can help them find their way home. You see the village is right over that hill. You were never that far away from it. You just wandered off the path a bit. The woods can get a little confusing and scary but you are safe now. You are blessed and will always receive the help you need my child because you are pure of heart and unselfish. You need to listen to the little voice inside you and you will always be guided to where you need to go and what you are supposed to do,” the woman said.
“Oh I was so scared and here our home was not that far away after all.” Pedro said.
“Yes, sometimes when we are scared we get confused and go the wrong way. It keeps us from finding our way home.” the woman gently replied to Pedro.
“Remember to keep your heart filled with light and love, be kind and tell other children of this place and guide them here. They will be very happy if you do.” The woman was speaking to Rosalba.
Rosalba was filled with emotion. The words the woman spoke to her felt so right and comforting. She felt a sense of peace and happiness that she had never felt before. That somehow no matter what problems she may have everything would turn out all right.
Rosalba turned to say good bye but the woman had disappeared.
“Where did she go?” Pedro asked, “Wow maybe she was a ghost or something.”
Rosalba and Pedro found their way home. Mamacita ran up and hugged them. "Oh mi ninos where were you? I was so frightened. I sent Tio Miguel to find you but he could not."
“Oh mama, we met the most amazing woman in the woods. She was beautiful and I think maybe she was an angel!”
“Oh mi amor you are full of imagination.”
“No Pedro saw her too.”
“Well I am just so happy you are home!”
Later that week after school was out Rosalba went to try to find the Golden Cave and the beautiful woman. She closed her eyes and put her hand over her heart and asked to be guided to the cave. When she opened her eyes she noticed the cave ahead about one hundred feet.
The woman was not there but when she went inside she swore she felt a gentle breeze against her cheek and she heard someone whisper in her ear “I am Maria Magdalena. Just call upon me if you feel afraid or sad and I will help you. I am always with you and am forever in your heart.”
Rosalba would go visit the cave often and brought many of her friends. Those that were pure of heart felt the presence of the beautiful woman. Some even saw her in a hazy beautiful white cloud.
Rosalba would hear a gentle voice speak to her in her mind. She believed even if she could not always see her, Maria Magdalena, was there just as real as her mother or brother.
Whenever Rosalba felt afraid or sad she put her hand over her heart and asked for help from Maria Magdalena and she always felt better.
Even Pedro began to come with her and he began to believe that he heard and felt the presence of Maria Magdalena also. He was often seen placing flowers in the cave. Pedro had changed for the better. He listened to his mother and sister and helped with the chores and was a happier and nicer boy after visiting the cave.
The story of Maria Magdalena and the children of the village became a legend. To this day the people of the village still visit the cave with the golden light. They bring flowers and fruit to thank the spirit of Maria Magdalena and to ask her for help. And many claim to feel a gentle breeze on their cheek and a whisper in their ear and they know that Maria Magdalena is there with them and they feel peace.
Copyright (Kathy Goetemann) 2012
The author lives in New York, USA.
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