I can't remember the first time I saw the movie "The Wizard of Oz".
I just remember that it was an annual event.
I am of the era that grew up with no dvd's or big screen plasma tvs or cable television.
If we wanted to see a movie, we went to a movie theater or
we waited for it to be played on television.
If we watched it on tv, the disclaimer that it had been "edited for television" always preceded the start.
This meant that minutes had been shaved off the movie to allow for plenty of commercials.
But there were no other options, so we endured the commercial breaks.
The "classics" were usually broadcast once a year -
"The Ten Commandments" was always played around Easter.
Sometime in the winter, they would play "Gone With The Wind" - over two nights!
"My Fair Lady" was usually a holiday movie.
And then there was "The Wizard of Oz".
Life stopped and schedules were planned around these special movies.
The whole family gathered with large bowls of popcorn sitting in our laps.
And the movie about the wonderful land of Oz was always a favorite.
Dorothy and Toto.
But the best part...the transition from black and white to color.
I remember, when I was in my early 20's,
a local movie theater that was known for playing only "classic" movies
had a showing of "The Wizard of Oz".
On the big screen.
And the movie took on a whole new feel for me.
Let's face it - today's movies are much more spectacular from a technical standpoint.
My children have a hard time appreciating some of the older "classics" because they are so used to the perfection that is achieved through computer technology.
But for me, the magic of the "Oz" remains to this day.
One of the most enduring aspects of that movie is "the" song....
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"...
In my humble opinion - one of the greatest songs ...EVER!
I don't know what it is about that song in particular.
But being a music person - and a music person that really appreciates great lyrics -
this one speaks to me on a deep, almost spiritual level.
The idea of a land where everything is perfect;
the feeling of possibility, of longing, of hope, of dreams...
The song was magical to me as a child.
As a young mother, I sang the song to my children as a lullaby.
As an adult, I have sang the song for weddings as young couples began their new life together.
I have sang the song for funerals as family members have said their last goodbyes.
As a recently seperated married woman, I sat at my piano and sang the song with tears running down my face, as a way to find solace in my new uncertain world.
And now - as a divorced woman looking to the future,
I sing the song with an eye on possibility for greater things to come.
New adventures, new dreams, new roads to travel, new destinations...
anywhere my wings will take me.
Birds fly over the rainbow...
and so can I.