I miss Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin’s best friend and a tiger stuffed animal; if you don’t know what I am talking about then you are missing the most poignant examination of innocence and childhood. Through Hobbes, you are missing some of the pointed commentary on the nature of humanity.
Calvin is always up to no good when he is home, with Susie, or at school with Ms. Wormwood. His zany non-conformity and imagination always led him to mischief and the those around him to exasperation.
However, Calvin’s wanderings through his national park of a backyard (open one of the strips-you’ll see what I mean) provide deep contemplation well beyond his years. From the mouth of babes. One of the strips has Calvin and Hobbes strolling through the woods and Calvin saying, “People keep talking about opening more wilderness for development. We seem to understand the value of oil, timber, minerals, and housing, but not the value of unspoiled beauty. Wildlife, solitude, and spiritual renewal.” Hobbes responds with, “We need to start putting a price on the priceless.” Calvin then goes on to say something far more appropriate to a 7 year old which I won’t write here.
When I wander the woods, I can’t help but see what should have been, what was, and what could be. Where is the wilderness that is not the remnant of a despoiled environment or worse yet, an environment logged, bombed, mined and sold to the Park Service because the land has lost all monetary value.
But, then, Calvin, in another strip, says “the world isn’t so bad if you can just get out in it.” How many of us live the adult version of what Calvin goes through?
Then I remember why the old despair has returned. It’s time for a hike.