There’s so much I want to tell you, I feel like I could write a book.
For starters, I’m a big fan. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been in awe of your big-screen adventures.
When you ran from that awful Myra Gulch, I could feel my own heart pounding.
When you sang so sweetly and so wistfully about feeling all alone and unprotected in a world of trouble, I could taste the tears on my cheek. I wanted to get away from it all too. I memorized the lyrics to every song on your traveling playlist and I sang along with every step you took.
When you got caught up in the middle of a swirling house, I held my breath…and I watched in wonder as you landed in a strange and bright new place.
From there, I tagged alongside you, Toto, and your new friends as you made your way down the Yellow Brick Road.
When you finally found your way back home, I felt like I could find my way too.
I even had a little dog, except her name was Tootsie. I know we would’ve been best friends if we lived in the same neighborhood.
Maybe we still can.
I hope so.
Here’s the thing. Not in my wildest imaginings could I have wrapped my brain around the idea that I’d end up walking in your shoes-or least on a strangely similar path. Speaking of shoes, you totally rocked those ruby reds. Agreed, great footwear is an absolute must when embarking on any sort of worthy adventure.
Like you, under my mild-mannered exterior, I was harboring a stow-away, gypsy soul. When a well-meaning wizard looked in their crystal ball and gave me a frightening prediction (A.K.A., a diagnosis) I did what any rational person would do, I tried to run back home. Fortunately, a storm hit so I ran elsewhere. In my case, I’d already bought tickets. Destination, a little island somewhere behind the moon, beyond the rain, and somewhere over the international dateline. My mission was to dive over the rainbow—reef that is. From there, I planned to visit, well, everywhere! I had a bucket list of destinations, an antique globe, and a red marker. My goal was to make a dot-to-dot map connecting every continent, country, or island my sweetheart and I visited.
From your traveling experiences, I bet you could guess what happened.
That’s right. Trouble. A ginormous storm. Several of them.
I circled back on my Yellow Brick Road so many times, I felt unbearably lost, alone and afraid. Lions and tigers and bears, for real! I met a brave lion, a very funny scarecrow, and a tin man, just to mention a few colorful characters. The only problem was that they were all in disguise, so I didn’t recognize them at first. Not only that, but they also didn’t come along in any particular order. Fortunately, I ended up hiking new roads with these wonderful friends. I even landed in Auz (as in ‘stralia) unintentionally! I swear It’s all one hundred percent true!
Do you know what else I found out? (Spoiler alert)
I learned there really is such a thing as:
No matter what kind of sidewinders head our way it is possible. No matter what gales may come. (a little pun on your last name there) Anyway, there’s always a way to defeat the forces of evil and get the loot, isn’t there? Ever notice though, it never, ever turns out the way you expected it to, does it? That’s the thing about happy endings, it’s always a surprise and it always turns out even better than you dreamed it could. Isn’t it funny how miracles happen almost precisely when you let go of what thought you wanted and needed to attain a perfect ending? Come to think about it, I need to mention some of this stuff to the Munchkins when I write to them.
Oh dear, I realize I’m getting ahead of myself. I can’t seem to help it. I’m so excited to get started. There are so many scenes I’d looking forward to discussing with you and I suspect there’s much more to your story than sparkly props and clever metaphors.
I wonder, what you would tell everyone about your experiences along your Yellow Brick Road and your repatriation to your Star, Kansas if you didn’t have fancy-schmantzy editors and directors telling your story for you. -Never mind not wanting any liabilities about mentioning the folks back home- or trying to explain any kind of injury when you are needing first aid and tending to the shrapnel from the storm. It’s hard to make people understand your story is real when it all sounds so fantastical, isn’t it? Dorothy, I so get it now, or I should say, I’m beginning to get it.
I know, I know, it’s a process.
Isn’t every hero or heroine’s journey a process? A progression? A series of big and little progress? I like the idea of calling each step, just another brick in the Road.
It sure makes for one memorable trip, doesn’t it?
Now that I’ve been repatriated to my home star as well as my home self, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the bigger road map. Guess what I found?
Well, I suppose you do know, having been there but it’s still exciting to me! I found tons of treasure! Shiny new gems. Pearls of wisdom. Twenty-four carrot lessons and other invaluable booties along the way. Stuff like learning to make new friends and learning to let go…
Lots of stuff. Like I said, I could write a book.
Speaking of writing, I have this idea. I’ve been thinking of dropping a line to each of the cast members who played a part in our parallel stories. I want to sincerely thank each one of them, even the difficult characters. Like the sister of the Wicked With once said, “Everyone comes to teach you a lesson, it’s your job to learn it.”
Then she cackled.
It was weird.
As much as I hate to admit it, she was right, even if she was a witch. Everyone does teach us a lesson. What she failed to mention is that when people teach you lessons, it's polite to write thank you notes. But, hey, witches aren’t exactly well known for their etiquette or good manners are they?
Speaking of lessons, I wonder, did you get voice lessons or are you simply a natural singer? I sing in the shower, mostly out of consideration for others, but I love doing it. I hope you’re still singing. Don’t you find it healing to focus on the melody, the movement, and the meaning of certain songs? I sure do. I can listen to a song over and over and still hear something new. Like your song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Each time I listen, I realize there’s more to unpack. Have you heard Jack Johnson’s version of Rainbow? It’s from his album, Thicker than Water. It makes me feel hopeful. Loved. Cheerful. Like everything’s going to be okay. I have an entire playlist titled: Rainbow. I bet you won’t be surprised to hear it’s a theme I’m rather fond of these days. If you have internet in Kansas or wherever you happen to be these days, check it out, I’d love to know what you think.
I hope that by sharing playlists, travel notes, letters, and whatever else pops up along the way, other sojourners might be able to believe in their own Happily Ever After. Sort of like a post, post-trauma travel guide, complete with letters and travel notes and playlists. What do you think?
I’m thinking in an uncertain world, a couple of things are certain. One thing is for sure, eventually, we’ll all face the storm, most likely several of them. Finding peace of mind, courage, and strength of heart on that road is tough. Especially when we are lost. But I think if we follow, follow, follow that path back to our true selves and keep an eye out for good friends along the way, we will always land in the right place. That’s what I think. Some famous guy, Dess Ramm, said it best when he said that we are all just walking each other home. I believe he was right.
…That is if we want to get home.
Isn’t that a small word for such a big idea? Kind of like Munchkins. Small folks, big ideas. I certainly go on about that if I let myself, but as I said, I’ve got to get writing.
Well, I’ve got a stack of letters and I’ve procrastinated long enough. I feel a sense of urgency to pen them all down. Being somewhat of an accidental expert in storms, I hate to admit it, but I feel another whopper brewing. No idea how long mail takes to get from my time zone to yours, but I will keep writing to you, no matter what.
I’m sure I have more to tell you. Chances are, I’ll think of all of it once I stick this in the mail.
I promise to remain, your true good friend.
P.S. Before I go, I wanted to clear something up. I know you aren’t real in the way some people comprehend the concept of being real. Real is something that can live in the heart, and soul, therefore, by that definition, you are as real as anyone, so don’t let anyone tell you any different. Speaking of real, I thought you’d be happy to know your story is also still alive and well in the hearts of the young and the young at heart.
How do I know?
Glad you asked. It’s like this, I went to the thrift store this afternoon. I was looking for a cozy dog blanket for my newest little Toto. Her name is Fiona. When I went to check out, there was a particularly adorable little girl in line in front of me. She was in the company of her mother and her three little sisters. I noticed she was clutching a perfect replica of your blue and white dress, except it was sized perfectly for a ten-year-old-ish girl. You would have loved it. I wished you could have been there to eavesdrop as the girls and their mom chatted on and on about how many times they’ve watched The Wizard of Oz, how adorable the girl’s Halloween costume was, and how they knew all the best lines and songs by heart. The mom made a special point to tell all her girls how much your story meant to her when she was a little girl herself. Just before the clerk rang up the sale, the mom asked the little girl if she was sure about her costume selection. Her smile said it all as she nodded in the affirmative. She was all in! I suspect we all have a little Dorothy in us or was that Captain Morgan’s line? Oh well, no matter, here’s to life, loot, and love!
Bye again, for now…