A giggle escaped my lips. With another gust of wind a strand of her hair danced and she turned towards me. There was no mistake that was Alma the village healer. She turned and beckoned me to come over as if she had known I was there all along.
With the sun gently caressing our bodies we began walking towards the village. I always wondered why she blessed all the travelers from other countries that periodically came to our village seeking to consume our culture. My question escaped my lips before I could stop myself. Grinning she set her gaze upon the setting sun “Mi hija, we are all children of the earth mother”. Mid-stride she abruptly stopped, took my hands in hers, and stared into my eyes. Her eyes pierced through me or maybe they saw everything about me.
“Los abuelos protect you” she whispered. “Don’t they protect us all?” I asked a little startled. “Not the way they protect you, you are special mi hija. Come to the blessing ceremony tomorrow and you will see”. With that she slowly let go of my hands and began to walk again. Without missing a step she waved her hand for me to follow. Dazed I clutched my satchel of herbs and sprinted to catch up.
The next day the travelers came, snapping pictures of our farmland and our houses like they usually do. They eventually calmed down and gathered around Alma. She began the ritual, spreading the flowers and praying in both Spanish and Achi. Warm hands on my shoulders made me jump. I turned to scold whoever touched me but nobody was there.
"The abuelos watch over me" I whispered to myself taking a deep breath.