As we filled out the form, I asked her to pronounce her first name since it had an unusual spelling. “Mariya,” she said, “was pronounced Ma-ri-a, with a long i.” Immediately I broke out into song, harking back to my high school days and the folk music of which I was a fan, “A way out here they have a name for rain and wind and fire. The rain is Tess, the fire’s Joe, and they call the wind Mariah…..” As I paused, there was no request to keep singing, so I went back to filling out the form.
Later, as we were finishing up, I asked about her name. “The spelling of your name is different than I’ve seen, what is its origin?” She said with a twinkle in her eye, “It is Native American. It means ‘WIND.’”
Sheepishly, I said, “Oh, of course it does.”
© 2009, John C. Fitts, III. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted from Grace Drops, Volume 7 (2009).