Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Being a Witch

The Wizard of Oz is a beautiful movie. Remember seeing the Land of Oz for the first time... with all that glorious Techi-color? Remember hearing the giggles of the munchkins? Do you remember the first time you saw it-- the giddiness of it?

Elphaba, witch, halloween witch costume, broom, cool
Image Credit: Sam Howzit via Flickr

Were you afraid of the witch? Did you think she was terrible? Did you think she was mean and evil?

I was the witch.

Being an only child, with only books and my imagination as playmates, I played oddly. I pretended to be the witch. I collected flower pots and bowls and crushed up polk berries into magical potions. I lived in the great castle and had flying monkeys. I rode a toy mop, because my mother wouldn't let me ride the broom. (P rides the same mop today... I think it's a horse now.)

I don't know why I wasn't Dorothy-- although I envied her crisp, blue gingham and auburn hair. I don't know why I wasn't Glenda, the Good Witch arriving in a soft pink bubble, probably smelling ever so faintly of strawberries and champagne. It never occurred to me to be the Wizard, the Scarecrow, or the Tin Man.

But now, I think about being the witch. I believe, even in my child-like mind, I recognized that she was misunderstood. After all, Dorothy's house did kill her sister, and when she arrived at the funeral it was more of block party.

The woman I want to be has a lot of the witch about her:
1) Her house was old and mysterious, and full of interesting things... it looked like her.
2) She was not going to stop until she had her hands on those ruby slippers.
3) She made dramatic entrances and left in clouds of smoke.
4) She was green, but really quite comfortable in her skin.
5) She chose poppies. (No heroin reference here-- just that poppies are cool.)
6) In the end, neatly dissolving away, her last words were "What a world, what a world."

She's got some redeeming qualities, that witch.

This is part of our 31 Days of Fall series from October 2013.