On Wednesday, Andrea Bocelli was in Phoenix and I had the pleasure of attending his concert. It was very good: the backdrop and projections were beautiful and all of the accompanying musicians and singers were also wonderful. Heather Headley sang a rendition of "Over the Rainbow" that was so unique that it made me start about the song and the story all over again.
You see, I had recently commented that it's almost odd that "Over the Rainbow" has become such a popular song, an anthem for The Wizard of Oz: the song speaks about longing for something else, while the theme of the story is about realizing that what you already have is what you want and need. And there isn't really a song at the end of the movie to illustrate that theme.
But if it were all so simple as realizing the theme of the movie before it is even stated or actualized, then we wouldn't need a movie to illustrate that theme, would we? And Dorothy wouldn't have needed to go on a whole adventure to realize that message, either.
So the reason that "Over the Rainbow" is the anthem is because, no matter how much we are told to be thankful for what we have, we must still ask the question for ourselves. We must ask why we cannot soar far away, far beyond our scope of sight. We must dream . . . because in dreaming we realize our full potential.
If you never ask why you cannot be, then you will never be. If you never ask why you cannot achieve, then you will never achieve. If you never ask why you cannot soar, then you will never soar.
The key matter is simply that in order to be, to achieve, and to soar, we do not need the fantasy of wings like birds. We don't need to transfigure ourselves or to fly away to another world. Everything that we need is right here at our fingertips. That does not, of course, mean that simply by wanting something you will have it. It just means that contentment is in your hands, joy is in your reach, and accomplishment is in your power. And in order to realize that, you must first ask the question of why. Why can't I fly over the rainbow? . . . Oh, yes, that's right: I'm already there.