How do you react when somebody mentions one of your favorite books of all times in the most random circumstances? Where does your mind go considering that is one of the most spiritual enlightening books you have ever read? What if this story let’s you confront your own ideas about magic?
I am not talking about potions and bewitching spells. Rather, I am referring to the magical encounters that give us goosebumps, to the synchronicities, to the sparks that begin with a kiss, in the rejoice found in the perfection of watching a baby sleep, in a stranger’s smile in the moment you must need it. I have always believed in magic and cherish it, not as a way to avoid reality but to elevate our existence by believing there is something greater than ourselves that we can’t explain and that its only mission could be to make ours lives brighter and fuller.
So came the casual reference today to the Wizard of Oz. It was not about the search for courage, heart, brain or home; it was about the moment the curtains opened up and revealed the big Wizard of Oz, the one expected to solve everybody’s problems with his gigantic, powerful skills, was actually a big fraud.
The transformations Dorothy, Tin man, Lion and Scarecrow go through were initiated by their belief that the Wizard would magically solve all their problems and make their dreams come true. Little did they know that all the obstacles they found on their path would allow them to earn what they so much longed for. Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? We work our asses off for what we truly believe in.
For a moment I imagine the group of odd main characters alongside Toto the dog walking the brick yellow road, their arms interlaced and singing. On their path they meet a personal coach that tells them they need to establish their goals and design clear steps to reach them. Suddenly a Secret fan comes up and suggests that if they just visualize what they want no doubt those things will materialize. Not long after, an influencer shows with her phone on hand and tell them the path is hard but never stop dreaming.
I am sure that if Dorothy and friends follow all of the previous recommendations they will certainly achieve their goals: Dorothy will go back to Kansas, The Lion will get its courage, Tin man its heart and Scarecrow a brilliant brain. But it seems to me that would make for a very boring book. Heroes are not made when they follow their very careful detail plans. Heroes are made when they don’t have other choice than jumping on the road of transformation even when the future is not clear, even what they think is their ultimate goal ends up being an Emerald City with a fraudulent wizard. Heroes face each obstacle and remain vulnerable when it is apparent they will not succeed. They know how to reroute when things are not what they envision. They use their brains and their hearts and they follow yellow brick roads that lead them to unexpected destinations.
Heroes are made when plans gets out of hand. So what is a hero or a Dorothy suppose to do? Take a journal and write their next 10 steps or create a vision board? Nothing wrong with that. The more with can control the safer we feel. But I can only think of one thing that in my personal experience has kept me going when blows keep coming up; when regardless of my careful planning, unplanned obstacles are the word of the day; when I feel like a lost Dorothy and I don’t trust I have either the heart, the brain or the courage to keep going. When I don’t think I can continue there is one thing that saves me: magic. Those things that I can’t explain; that belief that there is something bigger than myself; it is the trust that even when I am in a path that I don’t recognize I will get to the place that was destined for me; that I will find wicked witches but also wonderful Good Witches of the South; that I will have friends to sing along in the difficult passes; it is the belief that I will eventually arrive to an Emerald city where everything is beautiful and shiny.
And yet, sometimes the curtains open up and reveal that what we believe to hold the key to our dreams is a total farce. But that is not the end of the magic; that is the beginning of a new path in which we discover the magic is part of us. We are the wizards, we are the heroes. We still get goosebumps and the sparks, and the bliss and the joy at its superlative state, because nothing beats the magic of relying on the certainty of the uncertain and the beauty of what we can’t control.
After all, we all want to go back home, even if we are not the same we were when we left. Hopefully, we are not the same. We are braver, wiser and more courageous we have ever been and still grateful that when we close our eyes we will experience magic. No yellow brick roads needed, no ruby sleepers, no shows because we are heroes and wizards. Our own wizards with magic to spare, with goosebumps and chills, and hearts that lighten up when we know that after a long journey we are back home.