Let me tell you a story about Maria …
Maria was born in a distant land, a tiny village surrounded by mountains hidden in a remote part of northern Spain.
A land filled with treasures where-ever you walked. The hillside, the trees and behind the open doors of the families that lived there.
A beautiful child with long dark hair and rich dark brown eyes, with a heart so great she would fill the world with happiness as she prepared delicious meals with the scraps they had. Would tender to the animals and venture into the mountains to find the best land so they would not go hungry.
She would clean and scrub every corner of the home on her knees to wash away the dust and dirt till everything sparkled. She did not complain, she worked and worked and knew that one day her dream would come true. Maria knew what it was like to come from a humble home, there were no luxuries and the spirit of being grateful for the small mercies in life were deeply embedded in her very essence.
Many a time she felt the whip of a belt or a shoe that left the mark of a painful memory, hidden in the deepest part of her heart until the day it would be written and told.
Maria would walk a thousand miles, cross the oceans deep to a land filled with opportunities. Would she realise her dream?
One day, her father was so ill he was unable to walk. He had been completely paralysed. There he lay there on the bed. The doctors came but there was nothing they could do. Juan would be bed-ridden for the rest of his life. The livelihood and wealth of the family was at stake.
Miracles happen every day and this would be one that the family will remember forever. Maria so desperately wanted to make a dress to go to a party. She had saved and saved for years the pesetas until finally she had 50 pesetas to go buy the material to make a dress she so really wanted. She travelled over the mountains to a little village where a man spoke to her and gave her a necklace especially made for her father and that she must give him 30 pesetas and he would be cured. “Place it around his neck and leave it for seven days and he will walk again”.
Maria loved her father dearly and had seen how her mother wept at the side of the bed. She parted with her pesetas, still had 20 left to buy something simple. She rushed home to the bedside of her father and placed the gift below his night-shirt so that no one would know and waited …
Her dream came true, he walked again. This was the beginning of many miracles in her life which later would life would take on a journey to a country where she would meet her Indian Prince. Who would sing to her, “Maria, Maria, I just met a girl called Maria”, take her dancing … And the story continues through the generations …
By Natasha Parker