To Heal and Understand

Mercury carefully checked the forehead and cheeks of her patient. The woman seemed frail, almost transparent, but her body radiated the warmth that the priestess never experienced before. It was not the heat of a fever, but a soothing kind of warmth, bringing on mind a safe fireplace in an autumn cottage. Embrace of the mother… or touch of the beloved.

The healer felt like brushed by something unknown and wonderful. Hope-giving. She heard once a tale of a daughter of the moon, who was sent on the earth, to help people who were living in pitch-black darkness. She loved the fairytale but now it felt even more poignant. Like a sign or prophecy.

She knew also, that no one canĀ  find this girl here. She felt it in her blood and bones, in the core of her priestess’ calling.

If they found her, they would take care.

If they did, they would kill her.

Before, she had trust in institutions, before she wanted only to be useful and take care of the suffering, so no one had to die, as she watches. So she didn’t have to be a mute witness of soul leaving its mortal shell.

Now, persecuted, she knew her mission is much more meaningful and much more important, than following the rules.

Her mission was to help dying – not observing their peaceful departure. But to live.

The woman before her, laying like a marble statue, kissed by gossamer and pale as young sun, seemed a respond for her prayers. Her inner warmth was divine and that alone, was making her a hope.

The girl’s lips were dry though and under her eyes, she had black shadows of exhaust. Like she had to suffer a lot before she landed here.

Mercury took a small bottle of herbal potion and started to prepare a medicine. It will have a bitter, spicy taste, but will allow the girl to regain strength and help her to quickly start absorbing water. Grinding ingredients and pouring the potion in it, steadily mixing them to get a mashed and sticky substance, the healer smiled.

“I see you woke up already” she said, more feeling the movement than hearing it. Pouring quickly the medicine into the cup, she turned back, to see—

The girl looked just at her. But she couldn’t see her.

Her eyes were white, covered with thick spiderweb of blindness. Her expression tensed, as she reached with her hands to her own body, like trying to check, if all is in its place. Like she learned to do it, each time she was awake.

“You are safe” Mercury quickly assured her, somehow anticipating to hear the woman’s voice. “I found you in the forest. Or more so my friends found you. You were unconcious and it was so easy to overlook you. But—”

How to even express that. There was no explanation of what caused her companions to find her. Red told her that they saw a light in the deep woods, when they were hunting for supper for them all. But they weren’t prepared for what they found out. This woman, this miracle, shone with purest light, embraced by the gleam, like in safety cocoon.

But now the light was not present, and all of this would better be a dream than reality, a nocturnal nightmare, or delirium sent by the gods… a curse, that lasted too long or too short. Red still was shaking his head, almost sure that it was madness that descended on him. The priestess didn’t know what to think about it. Preferred to not ponder, what that would mean for her nad her church.

Mercury handed her the potion. The girl had to feel the scent, or reacted at her movement, because she slowly backed off.

“Please, drink it. It’s also safe. I am a healer. This will help you to feel better again.”

The girl, still unsure, started to look with her hands, until she felt the cup in them. First, she cautiously sniffed it and when it seemed like she will drink it, she put it next to her, spilling a bit on the raw wood.

“I don’t know you, I don’t now your scent” she said. Her voice was harsh, as in stark difference to her delicate body. It sounded like a raven put into a body of a songbird.

Mercury didn’t feel offended. She expected that. No one who came that far, no one who looked like that, with bruises on her hands and legs, could accept help so quickly.

But she was stubborn, and most of all, she was patient. Priestess by soul and heart, she wasn’t in hurry. Time will tell the guest, if she is worthy of her trust or not.

“My name is Mercury” she eventually said, looking in unwanted curiosity, how the girl tries to see the surroundings with her fingers. “You don’t need to tell me your name, but it would be easier if—”

“Lumina” the girl cut in half sentence, her blind eyes looking just into her own and that alone made Mercury feel like, in fact, the woman sees her, sees her, but not with her eyes.

But it was ridiculous. How could she?

“My mother gave me this name as a joke, a taunt” she added. “I never found anything funny in it.”

Mercury didn’t even ask why. If she feels safe enough, she will tell her. But now, the most important was, to offer Lumina help. Woods were safe as long as they all were together. But others knew it too, and all people travelled in groups. And she was still chased after.

Never allow anyone to find her.

As every hope is a danger for those, who take it from the people. And a hope surrounded by light, imaginary, or realĀ  [ as fantastical this could sound and seem ] – her heart skipped a beat, when she realized she smiles.

And Lumina couldn’t even see it. Her smile, delicate as the fragile body of her guest and strong and filling like her medicine.

We travel for so long, trying to find the core of magic. Perhaps she is the answer.