I’m from Kansas. So believe me, I’ve heard my share of Oz references: “hey, you’re not in Kansas anymore”, “where’s your red slippers”, “where’s Toto?” Of course, one would have to be geographically challenged in the extreme to travel to another state and have no clue that they’ve left the one they started from. Did what I just type make sense? It does at one a.m. so I continue.
For the record, I would love a pair of those red shoes. In fact, I’d like to have the red shoes Dorothy wore (at least one of the five or six pair made are at the Smithsonian, others privately owned) and since this animal lover’s first word was Tuffy, the name of our family dog, you can bet a “Toto” is up there on my wish list as well! I don’t mind at all when people attach my Kansan background to this Frank Baum masterpiece. The Wizard Of Oz, which I watched faithfully every year well into adulthood (and I do mean well into), and of which I now own two copies, the 1925 version (no disrespect to this precursor, but there’s a reason why it was remade) and the 1939 classic, is one of my all time favorite movies. The African-American Broadway version of this timeless classic, The Wiz, is a wonderful interpretation as well, filled with inspiring messages, words of wisdom and fantastic music! Ease on down the road…yeah, baby!
All versions encompass a variety of “warm fuzzies” — the value of friends and family, the absolute joy in dreaming, victory over fear and finding true happiness. These life lessons are creatively portrayed in the well-known storyline, and even as a child I believed that what happened to Dorothy could happen to me. I believed that if I dreamed hard enough, believed long enough and put actions to those beliefs (and yes, sometimes a tornado in the form of a setback propelled those actions), but if I did something about what I believed, then magic could happen. As a child, I believe I carried out these tenets sub-consciously. As an adult, the literal translation of the story has become my spiritual reality as I continually “follow the yellow brick road”, universal truths, to the life I want.
The first step: dreaming. Would Dorothy have ever gotten swept up and tossed into the Land Of Oz had she not had a dreamed of a different life? I doubt it. I think because she sat on that swing and wished upon a star, she sat the universal wheels in motion to attract her moment of change. I did that too, when before eking out my first rough draft, I put “bestseller” signs and the name of my first three titles all over my living room. I dreamed of the finished product and of having a publisher. I visualized being on Oprah (hey, some things take time!) and making the NYT bestseller list. Fourteen books later, I’m still dreaming new dreams.
Dorothy took a chance because of someone she loved. Toto was her baby. And she was ready to take on anything and anybody, including the wicked witch, in order to save her dog. I can relate. Because my manuscripts are my babies and any witch (in whatever form—person or incident—I won’t get specific here…just use your own experience and fill in the blank!) that tried to get in the way of my becoming a published author got a ruby toe in the preverbal backside! But where would we be without the journey to Oz, and the witches and the flying monkeys, those life experiences that help us know what we know so that we can do what we do? Those things that don’t kill us but make us stronger? It is often the challenge that ushers in the triumph!
At the end of the day, Dorothy found out that everything she wanted was inside her all the time. She just had to click her heels and realize there was no place like home. The three clicks can represent many things. In numerology, three is a powerful number that speaks of idealism, creativity, dynamism and optimism. When one has these attributes, they are virtually unstoppable. And when we realize that what we want “out there”, we already possess “in here”, in our mind/home, manifesting the dream into reality becomes almost as easy as clicking ones heels. That, and knowing that with the first step of the journey, the first toe onto that yellow brick road, you’ve technically already reached your destination.
So the next time someone comes up to you and says “hey, you’re not in Kansas anymore”, you can look at them, smile, and say “I know. I’m home.”