“What a world! What a world!” – The Wicked Witch of the West
In the movie The Wizard of Oz we’ve all watched the as the Tin Man awakens, the monkeys fly, and the Wicked Witch laments “What a World! What a World!” melts.
In recent days, in the face of all that seems challenging and difficult and painful in our world, I find myself muttering these words.
Another mass shooting; “What a world! What a world!”
Global terrorism reports; “What a world! What a world!”
Friends who have lost sons, grandchildren, jobs… “What a world! What a world!”
The very personal grief stories people I know are living every day; “What a world, what a world…”
I whisper the words to myself.
I sigh them out while walking the dogs or doing the dishes or vacuuming. I cry them out while driving.
“What a world! What a world!”
This holiday season seems fraught with emotions for so many. Losses, individual challenges, unexpected and life changing events, stunning and overwhelming circumstances. And then, in the midst of lamenting I remember—I am not alone. We are all a community of mourners in a season of waiting in the darkness.
I remember that I am not powerless. I can limit my exposure to the news media. I can honor the quiet in my life with music, time outdoors and in the company of dogs. I can make a mess—paint, collage, or quilt. I can take a hot bath, make a nice meal for myself, and remember that writer Anne Lamott says that self-care is a radical act.
I remember that there are other words about our world; the simple and beautiful words of Louis Armstrong:
“The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky,
Are also on the faces of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands, sayin’, “How do you do?”
They’re really sayin’, “I love you.”
…And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.”