Dreaming of Oz

Dorothy singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Dorothy singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

I was eighteen years old before I realized that the classic 1939 Wizard of Oz movie was not filmed entirely in black and white. I had watched it every year of my childhood on our sturdy black and white television, enchanted every time by the magic of the Land of Oz and Dorothy’s adventures there. When I returned home for Easter vacation from my first year at college, I settled in front of our new luxury item, a color television, to watch my favorite movie. Of course, the movie starts in sepia tone, close enough to black and white for me not to notice the difference, and I dreamed along with Dorothy as she sang of a land “somewhere over the rainbow.” Imagine my shock and surprise that matched her own when she opens the door of her wind blown house and stands breathless before the colorful landscape of a new world.

Dorothy looking into Oz

Dorothy looking into Oz

Like Dorothy, I feel as if I am standing on the threshold of a new landscape, though I must pass through the long storms of winter before I can step into it.  The Christmas decorations are put away and the house has lost its festive air. The romance and beauty of fresh snow fall has degenerated into rough trampled paths through the woods punctuated by dark bare trees and a leaden gray sky. It is the black and white and sepia tone world of every day life. But the seeds to this year’s garden have arrived and I feel very much like Dorothy, standing in her monotone world while peering into the vibrantly colored Land of Oz.

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It may be a long passage of winter months before I can cross that threshold into the rainbow land of my garden, but the seeds I hold in my hand become a magic carpet in my imagination that will eventually carry me there.

Video clip of Dorothy opening the door to Oz

Video clip of Dorothy singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

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Planting a Seed
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Planting a Seed

Aside from the garden of Eden, man’s great temptation took place when he first perceived his seed catalog. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

image of seed catalogsIt is the time of year when seed catalogs take on a life of their own, slithering off the coffee table, piling near a favorite chair, and populating the bedside. Earmarked and rife with notes, circled photos, and exclamatory punctuation, the catalogs bear witness to the pent up longing for color and new life that is part of every gardener’s spring fever. Some of the seeds are already here, along with a supply of pots, flats, and bagged soil; others are still to be ordered. Every year, as I begin the late winter planting, I consider the profound act of planting a seed.

image of larkspur seeds in handAlthough we may live in a high tech world estranged from our agricultural beginnings, our language continues to allude to the power of a tiny seed to start life, to change the world. Seeds of change, seeds of destruction, ideas that germinate, going to seed – the language of seeds is endless. While Continue reading