I bless you in the name of all that is good and strong and beautiful, Antonio. Always have the strength to live. Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evenings when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills. I shall be with you—
Ultima’s final blessing to Antonio in Chapter 22 clarifies Bless Me, Ultima’s moral standpoint. Ultima’s explicit association of her spirit with nature as she refers to the gentle wind, the singing owls, and the evenings, indicates her spiritual conviction about the connections that bind all living things. Her statement also gives Antonio a framework with which to understand her death by offering a sequence of physical objects that he can see as symbols of her life and through which he can continue to feel her presence. Antonio will be without Ultima and will have to make his own choices without her guidance from now on, but she makes it clear in this blessing that her spirit will endure with him and that the lessons she has taught him will still serve him well even after she dies.