I recall the very first time I saw The Wizard of Oz as a child.
I remember my Mam getting all excited telling me how good the film was. Always respecting her fine judgment and taste, I settled down on the sofa to watch it on television.
After the opening titles I felt a momentary wave of disappointment roll over me; as it was obvious the film was in black-and-white. Sensing my change of mood, my mother told me to wait, have patience and keep watching, as it would all transform very soon.
Seeing Dorothy’s little house spin through the air in the typhoon I didn’t hold out much hope. And yet, when it finally landed, and she opened the door to a whole new wonderful world of Oz, in vibrant ‘Technicolor’, I was transfixed for the rest of the film.
As the story progresses, we notice that Dorothy’s friends are all focusing on the negative points about themselves. The Scarecrow bemoans his lack of intelligence, The Tin Man, the absence of a heart, and The Lion believes he has no courage. Luckily for them at the end of their journey down the yellow brick road, they overcome their fears, while realising and rejoicing in their own qualities and achievements.
During these months at home, the majority of families and individuals have had to find ways of modifying their lifestyles, learning to restructure daily routines, while adapting to restrictions on their freedom of movement. We have all been given time, to stop, think, and reflect on our situation, while assimilating ways to adjust to surviving the ongoing crises.
Focusing on the positive, some have learned to cook, master new skills, rekindle family time, attempted to home school, create new ways of doing things and, watch the earth heal; as the clean air gives the world a chance to breathe.
I wonder how many of us will be wishing right now we could tap our ruby slippers together three times and say: ‘There’s no place like home!’, when we begin – as I write this – our 12th week there. However I believe we are the lucky ones, as the majority of our key workers haven’t been given that choice, being instrumental in providing the life saving and important services that we all need.
Even though it was made in a studio in 1939, The Wizard Of Oz still holds as much magic for me today, as it did the first time I saw it. Reinforcing the message that although we are all wishing for a perfect world – which perhaps lies over the rainbow – for the vast majority of the time, we have the answers to our dreams deep inside us.
And just like Dorothy, we might just realise, that everything we ever needed, is right here, in our own backyard.