Friday night before 11 p.m. we had a tornado warning. I can’t remember ever receiving such an alert. There have been watches over the years, but less than twenty that I can recall in my lifetime. It was hard not to be paralyzed by fear as we made preparations to seek shelter in our basement. Luckily, the threat ended and we never had to do so.
This weekend my best friend told me about her experience coming home from a party about an hour away during the storm. Conditions were terrible: rain, flooding, debris and wind. The fallen leaves on the road made already poor visibility that much worse. As she concentrated on driving, she couldn’t help but to think of her car being swept up in a funnel and spun around like Dorothy’s house in The Wizard Of Oz.
As she shared her fear with me, I could picture Auntie Em and Uncle Henry’s little home being tossed and spun in the movie. My next thought was of the Wicked Witch. I have loved the film since the first time I saw it as a child but the green wickedness Margaret Hamilton portrayed scared the heck out of me back then. I now imagined myself meeting her. And I laughed. Should she appear before me in a puff of green smoke, I wold not flinch, I would not cower. I would not be afraid. She is no match for an adult woman; we have the experience 12-year-old Dorothy (although Judy Garland was 16 when she played her) did not. Flying monkeys, a dark and imposing castle filled with guards, a broom, a sky-writing business, a long and pointy green chin and fingers, an evil laugh, a sleep-inducing poppy field, an hourglass and a crystal ball are no match for those of us with a flying parrot, barking dog or litter-box-using cat, a home to take care of and manage filled with a husband and kids, a giant SUV, career challenges, lack of work/home balance, body parts that hurt and/or are sagging with an occasional chin hair or two, never getting a good night’s sleep, days that never have enough time in them, illness, divorce, elderly parent care and our iPhones.
The tornado warning was terrifying. The thought of the Wicked Witch, not so much.
“I’ll get you, my pretty.”
I don’t think so. I’m not Dorothy any more.