Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it. – Malcolm Wallace
“I’m melting, melting,” shrieks the Wicked Witch of the West. The water thrown violently at her by her adversary, Dorothy, causes her body to evaporate; leaving no trace of her behind. In that brief moment, she is gone.
The frightening scene unfolds how the Witch, in her final moments, refuses to go down without a fight.
Ohhh! You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness! Ohhh! Look out! Look out! I’m going! Ohhhh – Ohhhhhhhhhh! –
At the close of every school year, my dance company presented their annual recital for the proud parents and any willing participant from the public who dared to attend. Not only did we have a recital to showcase our hard work throughout the year, we also put on a special performance through the production Turn Out. We performed Cats and An American Tale, to just name a few.
The theater, aging in years, sat on the corner near our downtown square. The inside matched the wear and tear of the outside. The wallpaper was ragged, the air reeked of must, and the carpet, burgundy in color, was worn down in spots. The wooden floor of the stage creaked with every step. The lights were bright leaving the audience barely visible. You very much felt alone, but so alive at the same time.
Our second production was the The Wiz, the musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. I played the role of, you guessed it, the Wicked Witch of the West, known as Evillene. As one may assume, I did not die by evaporation. I was tricked into thinking I was being handed a delicious and satisfying peanut butter and jelly sandwich, only it was poisonous and led me to defeat. To this day, I find it hard to “choke” down a good PB&J 🙂
Although those days of playing the evil witch are long behind me, I still find myself playing the role of the enemy who must be defeated. I screech,”I’m melting, melting“, only this time it is the frigid lining that surrounds my heart that dies, not me. Every kind word, “you are beautiful”, “you are brilliant”, “you are inspiring”, unleashes belief which in turns melts away the layers a little at a time. With every word I swallow, the wound dies a little bit more till eventually there is no more.
Who would have thought that something good would triumph over darkness like the Wicked Witch declared? Who would have ever imagined that a sweet little girl from Kansas could be ripped away from everything familiar, everything that comforts her, to pursue a yellow bricked road to find her true destiny? And in the end, she comes to the realization that there really is no place like home.
It happens and not just on the big screen. It happens in real life too. A sweet innocent girl from Kentucky, ripped away from her childhood into a violent, dark world, follows a path to find freedom, wholeness, and restoration. While I have never received an Oscar for such efforts, I’ve played the greatest role in my life. To find that little girl again and get her back on the path of her true destiny, to overcome darkness with love, is my greatest feat. She is beautiful, she is strong, and she certainly has what it takes to defeat an opponent once and for all.