By Kerri Romeo
A ladybug (perhaps the 6th Beatle?) greets Alice as she exits the subway station. A good luck sign! Alice looks closer to find her spots in a unique pattern like a V combined with the top of her red shell forming a heart. Alice hears a sweet hum…
“Let me take you down, ‘cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields”
Opening her wings the Ladybug flies off. Alice is curious… What is Strawberry Fields? She follows her friend to learn more. They pass a building that looks like a European castle. The face of a Native American Indian carved above the entrance seems out of place on French/German architecture. (Another rabbit hole to be explored?)
While still buzzing with noise from cars (not quite the newspaper taxis she expected) and buses passing by, this part of the city seemed more casual. A dog that reminds her of the Peaceful Puppy is anxious to say hello to Alice before continuing on his own walk with an older couple holding hands. Alice manages to dodge a few joggers and bicyclists before reaching the entrance to a park. Still it was much easier to reach the garden this time!
As the Ladybug flutters and waves for her to step through the entryway, Alice senses this garden will be more magical than the one in Wonderland. As opposed to the Red Queen’s garden that was created by workers in the name of power and prestige, this was an International Garden of Peace created with donations from around the world in memory of peace activist John Lennon.
As if on cue, the phone in Alice’s pocket chirps with a notification. She listens to the message from one of the friends she had met in her international travels before entering the quiet zone in the park. Children from around the world sing…
“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be, it’s easy…All you need is love…”
As she strolls through a wisteria trestle, then loops around the park surrounded by wild green leaves brightened by yellow cup plants and the hum of bees, Alice finds herself repeating the word love. Love, love, love. A calming mantra. Peace and love….it’s easy. Isn’t it? Of course, in the middle of a beautiful garden it comes naturally. But how can the same vibration reach outside a peaceful escape? Love as an ideology may only be able to exist under perfect circumstances. Are we seeking a perfect world or to develop the ability to love in spite of an imperfect world?
Having explored peace and love before, Alice thought she understood how to “cure” our fallibility; If we define and heal our wounds we can uncover our true nature of love. But as she looks out at the world, like the white dove she glimpses on a branch of a redwood, new questions arise. Why is peace viewed as a threat? With compassion as our nature, why has corruption been able to hold so much power? Why isn’t love as easy as it could be? What could be missing?
Circling to the end of the trail that becomes its beginning, Alice finds the Ladybug once again. Her heart-shaped friend beams from the center of a black and white mosaic on the word “Imagine”.
“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us…”
John, George, Paul and Ringo are sure to show up again in Alice’s “magical mysteries tour”.
And in case you missed it, Victoria Hall and Jesse Crall took A Beatles Break.
Kerri spends her days as an office administrator for a ballet barre manufacturer and her free time playing frisbee with her dog in NJ. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.