“It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train, it’s far far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain… Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, there’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.” The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz is one of my most beloved films. I could easily write a long blog on its beautiful symbolism and magic, the wonderful life lessons it offers, and its gifts of story presented in such a beautiful, humorous and lyrical way. For now, however, I will simply mention it for its scene at the end, when Dorothy finally gets her wish to return to her real home in Kansas with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. The Good Witch Glinda gives her instructions to close her eyes, tap her heels three times, and repeat the words, ‘there’s no place like home.’ This she does, and in the wink of an eye she is magically transported home to her own bed, being awakened by her beloved aunt.
Then her friends come to visit, whom she knew both in her life in Kansas, and also in her time spent in the magical land of Oz. She tells them about it like it was a beautiful dream, and looks at each one saying, ‘and you, and you, and you were there!” to which they chuckle in amusement. Then she tells them, ‘oh it was mostly beautiful there, but there were some parts which were not so nice,” and, “but the whole time I just wanted to go home. And finally, they sent me home!” then, looking at her Aunt Em, Dorothy exclaims, “There’s no place like home!” and it is the end.
I know what Dorothy means. After a ten-week hiatus in the heartland of America, which was filled with colorful characters and many wonderful adventures (and hardly any evil witches, fortunately) I have now made the long journey home to Denmark and my beloved husband. After a long car ride, two planes and two trains, I finally arrived at my own door, a transformed woman. Entering our sweet, sunny apartment again, I felt overcome by gratitude and joy. My home! My love! All of my things, just like they were when I left, preserved in a kind of stasis in anticipation of my arrival. Paints and jars of pencils and pens, small dishes of colorful rocks and crystals, the three dolls I had made all sitting together on the window sill, happy to see me again! The colorful paintings on our walls, made lovingly by my painter husband, the plants happily growing on the window ledges, even the red sofa and lamps seemed glad I was back. My husband bought lilies and placed them as the centerpiece on our dining table, filling the room with their heady, rich scent. The kitchen, neat and tidy as a pin, with grapefruits and apples in a green bowl on the counter. The sunshine streaming in the west windows. The smell of our nice, clean, elegant and friendly apartment. Walking into the bathroom, I was delighted by its cool slate floor, its simplicity, the nice large window which opens out to the sky to let in fresh air in all seasons. The bedroom greeted me with fresh white bedclothes, and a beautiful new antique mirror hung on one wall with beveled glass and a gilded frame, the style which my husband loves. How dear all of my little things were, my clothes patiently waiting in their drawers, neatly folded, in anticipation of being worn by me again.
Home. One of my favorite words, certainly my most favorite place on earth. Home can be so many things, and at different times in one’s life, can take various and multiple forms. Now, at mid-life, the quality and feel of my home is incredibly important to me. Home is my sanctuary, my study, my place to offer and receive nourishment through food, conversation, books, the internet, art projects, through meditation and quiet, through music, movement and dance, through lovemaking, through my garden, through hanging out the laundry even. I have missed my home more than I realized while in America. The friends’ home where I stayed was lovely, comfortable, and I made my room there my temporary home. I am very grateful for their hospitality and care of me for the weeks I lived with them.
In this moment, with Danish birds singing their summer songs out the windows, sunshine filling the languid mid-summer’s afternoon, I am as satisfied as I can imagine being. At long last, with my beloved beside me again, in my wonderful home, life is rich, full, sensuous and oh-so-sweet.
“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Mae West
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros- Home
- Of Flying Monkeys and Ruby Slippers (mikesfilmtalk.com)
- What’s Over the Rainbow?: Continuing Tales and RETURN TO OZ (reelclub.wordpress.com)
- The Wizard of Oz (integrated4.wordpress.com)