(Maryville College, English Composition, as submitted March 2020 — and as read at Maiah’s Maryville College Memorial Service 6-March-2020 by adoptive father Demetrius Wyatt Thomas and at her Moo’s Corner Celebration of Life 10-June-2020 by sister Ella Reilich-Godino)
“Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too Imagine all the people living life in peace…You may say I,m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one.”
Growing up as a child, I often would refer to my life as a fairy tale. An alternative universe, sheltered from the harsh realities of the outside world. I lived as a woodland fairy, running barefoot through my 40 acres of my enchanted forest, down to my rocky ocean shore, throwing mud at my other long haired barefoot fairy friends. I went to school under the sun and moon. We learned about carving bow and arrows from the young pliable saplings. We gave thanks to mother nature in our morning yoga routine before 8am math. We studied the Greek Gods and memorized the eternal beauty of our starlight constellations. We knit socks and mittens out of Cynthia’s hand woven sheep wool and then gifted them to our beautiful engelic parents. We were so happy, we were so full of life, we loved fearlessly, and we were completely and utterly free.
The song “Imagine” by The Beatles is one that I played in my Friday afternoon music class. We played many remarkable songs that I still listen to and think about today, but this one stands out to me the most. It speaks to me in a comforting way that soothes my mind as I fall asleep. It gives me a brief reprieve from the day to day horrors and suffering of our current world. It speaks of allowing the break down of the borders that divide our world and cause war, hate, and discrimination. It speaks to a time where people will stop using religion to propel their corrupt political agendas. It speaks to a time where we may all exist, in peace. A dream that the Beatles had a long time ago. One that I have now. One that I hope for the entire world to share in the future.
I live in a world of violence, a world of greed, a world of coruption, of suicide, and adiction, a world of sexual assult, and bombings, a world full of terrifying events that have somehow become my reality. This is a song I would sing and listen to as a kid. A time in my life when everything seemed more safe and certain. When I could maintain a sense of blissful innocence to all the unpleasant secrets this ancient world hides.
I have always dreamed of peace and prosperity, of love and life, and I have always held those beliefs close to my heart. But now, as I grow up and feel the burden, the unavoidable descent of time bearing down upon my shoulders, I am realizing, that just dreaming is not enough. That it is my turn to start taking my dreams, and pushing them to the surface, letting them begin to take form.
It is incredible, the impact such a simple thing as two verses of a song can have. But that is the power of words. Through writing we preserve history. We ignite the inner sparks that have been buried beneath the surface just a little too long. They inspire people by giving them the courage to step outside their box just a little further, to grow into the person they were always meant to become. We record scientific knowledge that leads to mass discoveries and advancements beyond our wildest imagination. We spill our fragile hearts out into our little leather bound journal that we tuck safely behind our mattress, guarding and protecting the secrets and desires we are unable to share.
I have always loved writing, reading, music and poetry, and I probably always will. I believe that we are all impacted by the power of words whether we realize it or not. So as I play the melody of this song over in my head, I think to myself: This is my world, this will be my children’s world, and their children after them. so I must ask myself, what is the legacy I want to leave behind, how do I want the planet to remember me, how do I want to remember myself? I know for me, I dream that when my life draws to a close, when I take my last breath and drift off into my eternal sleep, that I can look back and be proud. I may have only been a small raindrop in the puddle, but with enough rain drops that puddle might just become an ocean. And inside of that ocean who knows what we may discover.