You can’t go home again. When we are children I don’t think many of us understand that phrase. When I was in elementary school and smaller my mother who is only 5 foot four was “mommy mountain” to me even though she was definitely not the tallest person I knew. It was not until my freshman year of high school that I really noticed that even though I was still shorter than her it was only by a few inches. I think we all can recall an incident when our parents showed themselves to be nothing more or less than human, think the “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” scene in The Wizard of Oz. When I first saw the movie as a little girl that scene came as a bit of a shock and the “wizard” was a letdown. He was just an ordinary man who found a way to live in an unfamiliar situation
Of course once they get to the Emerald City they discover that they don’t really need the wizard after all. Somewhere along the way the Scarecrow uses his brain, the Tin Man listens to his heart, the Lion finds his courage, and Dorothy discovers that the way back home has been on her feet the whole time. To the folks back in Kansas Oz is nothing more than a fever dream and is easily dismissed. For me the journey from rural Kansas to the Emerald City and bac has never been that simple.
Like so many stories before and after it Dorothy’s travels down the yellow brick road are a hero’s journey of sorts. In short she leaves Kansas essentially a girl and return somehow more grown up than when she left. There truly is no place like home because once a person has stepped sway from home, away from everything familiar no matter how many times you come back things will never be the same again. Why? Because you are different now.
Home is defined simultaneously as both a place of origin and a destination. I have come to believe that we are all looking for home and that sometimes the journey to get there is the most important part