First released in 1939, The Wizard of Oz (based on the 1900s children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum) was not at first a “hit!” However, the film was re-introduced to the public in 1956 and, as we know it eventually became a family tradition making it one of the most famous films ever made.
I grew up reading Baum’s OZ book series (fourteen in all). I read them more than once because I never tired of their beautifully crafted covers and Baum’s mystical characters that came to life in my mind’s eye. I knew, only subtly, that the lessons in the Oz stories were all about good and evil and all the gray matter in between.
The fictional, but very real Oz experiences of Dorothy from Kansas are not unlike what I see in my America today. We are lost, confused, cross, scared and each time we see the horse of many colors, it startles us. We do not accept where we are and madly click our heels together saying: “There’s no place like home…” Not unlike Dorothy’s companions who seek a heart, a brain and courage, we must first suffer a pathway of: talking trees that throw apples at us, dark forests we must endure long enough to walk through, and a witch we cannot isolate that we must defeat.
In my youth (not age wise), I believed our elected leaders (not unlike how Dorothy believed in the Wizard of Oz) would find a middle ground and work together on behalf of the American people. However, my walks through the rhetoric forest illuminated a reality—we the people are not the priority. The witch-of-indecision now holds Our America hostage.
“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, there’s
a land that I heard of once in a lullaby…”