Alchemist's Gift

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The Eternal Nature of Being

Winter passed and spring gave new life to Casa Bella in a cacophony of bird song, amber sunrises, and an explosion of all the wildflowers that waited so long underground to finally find their way to be warmed by the sun and bloom and blossom.

Rosalba suffered through the winter, carrying her pain along with her child. Emilio finally returned. Correspondence was impossible during that winter. The snow and storms stopped all commerce and travel. He did send a messenger a day ahead, so she was not caught unaware. Their reunion was joyous. Emilio was tired and glad to be back at Casa Bella. He marveled at the change in Rosalba. Her face and arms were fuller and, of course, the baby rounded her belly.

One week after he returned, Rosalba gave birth. It was a bloody affair, and if it wasn’t for a quick-thinking midwife who liberally used Lady’s Mantle salve and cold compresses, the baby might have been motherless. The midwife saw something sparkle in the blood she wiped from the inside of Rosalba’s legs. She opened the crimson-stained cloth and found a gold embroidery needle. Without a thought, she slipped her valuable little find in her apron pocket.

The baby, Rosanera, slept in her exhausted mother’s arms. Cosimo had wanted a grandson, and Emilio was glad his wife survived. For Rosalba, the pain was finally over, although much damage had been done and she would have no more children.


Call it coincidence if you will, but Marcella gave birth to her daughter Sofia at the same moment in the same hour and on the same day that Rosalba gave birth to Rosanera. Marcella did not have a midwife present. Cesare was there with the string, the scissors, and the swaddling cloths. He was nervous, but hid it quite well, and reassured Marcella with gentle words and a hand to squeeze. All in all, things went very well. Marcella was sore and tired but so very happy. Her life up to this miraculous moment faded away, and the door to eternity was opened to her.

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